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Mac & Cheese is perhaps the most popular side dish when it comes to BBQ food . . . however . . . this particular recipe will stand up and hold its own.
Featuring 3 different cheeses and pulled beef that had been smoked low and slow over whisky oak . . . I’m not sure you can get better!
Note: The following recipe is enough for 8 people as a main . . . 16 as a side.
Before we begin, let’s make sure we’ve got everything we need:
- 450g Macaroni pasta (dry weight)
- 225g Freshly grated Gruyère cheese
- 225g Freshly grated Mozzarella cheese
- 225g Freshly grated mature cheddar cheese
- 75g Unsalted butter
- 8 Garlic cloves – Minced
- 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
- 120ml Pasta water
- Optional – 100g Panko Breadcrumbs mixed with 2 tablespoons melted butter for topping
- Optional – Spring onions for garnish
- 600ml Double Cream
- 110g Cream cheese / Philadelphia
- 2 Teaspoons paprika
- 2 Teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 Teaspoons onion powder
- 1/4 Teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 Teaspoon turmeric
- 1 Teaspoon black pepper
- 1 Teaspoon salt
- 2 Tablespoons hot sauce
Optional Extra Magic:
. . . oh, let’s not forget the wonderful pulled beef leftover from a previous cook. This is an option extra, you could add pulled pork, chicken . . . it’s up to you!
Firstly we need to get the cream mixture ready.
Simply add all ingredients within the ‘Cream Mixture’ list to a pan and mix together.
Bring to a gentle simmer stirring constantly.
Remove from heat once well combined . . . do not let this boil.
In a large pan add the butter and sauté the minced garlic for 2-3 minutes before adding the flour.
Continue to mix for another 2-3 minutes until combined.
Add the Cream Mixture
Slowly pour in the simmered cream mixture into the large pan with the sautéed garlic and mix together.
Next add the 120ml of water drained from your cooked pasta and mix again.
Over a low / medium heat add the three cheeses to the large pan and mix until completely melted and smooth.
At this point it’s great to have a little taste of the sauce and tweak the flavours by adding any salt / pepper / seasonings to suit your individual preferences.
Add the Pasta / Pulled Beef
Once you are happy with the flavour profile of the sauce add your pre-cooked pasta to the mix and stir to combine.
Next add a couple of handfuls of the pulled meat (beef in my example) and mix together.
Prepare to Bake
Transfer your ‘Mac & Cheese’ into whatever dish(es) you’d like to bake it in and top it off with a little extra cheddar cheese (plus optional panko breadcrumbs).
Bake at 180°c / 350°f 25-30 minutes, but keep your eye on things as you don’t want things burning.
Once cooked remove from the heat and let it cool down for around 15 minutes before sprinkling over some chopped spring onions and handing it over to the lucky recipient.