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Bacon Mac n’ Cheese

There are few things more comforting in the kitchen than an old-school batch of mac n’ cheese. Ooey gooey goodness. Perfection… almost… I mean… have you ever added bacon to your mac n’ cheese? If your house is anything like mine, they’ve already smelled the bacon and are lined up, waiting to share!

Serving:

Ingredients

1 box (about 1 pound) penne pasta, cooked and drained
1 pound bacon, chopped
1 cup water
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
2/3 cup Flour
5 cups milk
1 pound cheddar, shredded
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoons hot sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
sprinkle salt and lots of freshly ground pepper
4 slices whole grain bread, torn into large pieces
olive oil to drizzle

Instructions

Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C)

Toss the chopped bacon and water into a thick-bottomed stockpot over medium-high heat. By adding water you allow the bacon to gradually release its fat and brown evenly without burning. Continue cooking until the water evaporates and the bacon crisps nicely.
Remove the bacon from the pan and set aside, but leave the fat. Add the garlic and stir for several minutes to release its flavor. Add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon until it forms a smooth paste or roux. Cook for a few minutes more to toast the roux and allow it to develop a bit more flavor.

Add the milk and switch to a whisk for stirring. Whisk until the sauce is smooth again and continue cooking, and whisking, for about 5 minutes or so, until the sauce is quite thick.

Stir in the cheese, Dijon, paprika, hot sauce and Worcestershire. Season with salt and pepper.

Toss in the pasta and the reserved bacon, coat them well with the sauce and turn it all into a 9- X 13-inch (3.5 L) casserole or baking dish.

Toss the bread with a splash or two of olive oil, then sprinkle it over the cheese mixture. Bake until it is heated through and the bread is toasty brown, about 30 minutes or so.



Chef Michael's Kitchen
© Chef Michael Smith

Comments

  1. Debbie said: On Feb 28, 2014

    I must have done something wrong because I thought this was terrible. My husband thought it was ok. I didn’t like the way the bacon turn out. It was too hard, not nice and crispy. And I hesitated cooking the garlic for so long in the hot oil (I even turned the heat down significantly). As soon as I added the flour it all lumped up and I added it slowly mixing as well as I possibly could. I even added the milk slowly to try and break up the lumpy roux. I won’t make this again. Unless someone can tell me what could have gone wrong.

  2. Susan said: On Apr 3, 2013

    This is in the oven now and oh wow it looks fantastic. I had to keep myself from eating the ingredients as I tasted at every stage. I happened to have an apple smoked cheddar on hand, and half a bag of that Tex-Mex shredded cheese. I suspect this will be our new standard “grown up” mac & cheese. Last time I messed with the mac & cheese for the kids by adding peas and chopped red pepper, their Grandfather taught them how to fling peas off a spoon. It was hard to keep from laughing. Hopefully none of this gets flung!

  3. Anndalyn said: On Aug 6, 2012

    Love your website and also caught you on TV. I love your “pull from the pantry” style of cooking. One day while my husband and I were at home I discovered that we didn’t have many ingredients in our cupboard or fridge. I decided to make homemade Mac n Cheese. I searched the fridge for something more to put in it. I discovered the smoked salmon that I purchased the day before, so in it went. What a delicious meal we had that night!

  4. Ky said: On Apr 24, 2012

    Can I leave out the hot sauce? My little children don’t take spicy stuff but love Mac n cheese

  5. EDWIN said: On Apr 12, 2012

    how do you like your new kitchen. is it veritile and easy to get to everything you need to at a hands reach.I have yet to see you in action with the new kitchen. Is it a studeo kitchen or in your home in PEI.
    P.S.love your shows.
    Chef ED STEEL

  6. Bob said: On Feb 24, 2012

    I made this last night. My wife says this is the best mac ‘n cheese she’s ever tasted.

    Thanks for the recipe!

  7. Jackie said: On Jan 29, 2012

    I made your Bacon Mac ‘N’ cheese twice and it was fantastic….i also made you potatoe salad also fantastic….wow….really like your new website look and videos…..i now know how to cook a really good steak….thank you :-) you are an amazing chef !!

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bacon mac ncheese
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Chef Michael

I’m a FoodTV host, cookbook author and official food ambassador for Prince Edward Island, more importantly I’m a Dad and passionate home cook!

Variation

Freestyle Twist: Bacon is dandy but feel free to add your own twist by switching it for grilled chicken, lobster or ham! Toss in some peas or any other vegetable you have on hand add color and flavor to your personalized mac n’ cheese.