I find myself let down time and time again by macaroni cheese when I eat it in restaurants. Wait, that sounds snobby, let me explain. I really REALLY love cheese, and I want my macaroni cheese to be, well, cheesy. Is that so much to ask? Well apparently so, because more often than not I find myself, with a heart full of hope, tucking into a rather un-cheesy pasta dish, and feeling disappointed with the results.
Don’t get me wrong, I’d had some memorable mac ‘n’ cheeses in my time. A luxurious truffle-filled delight at Barbecoa (I don’t even like truffle), and a pretty sensational classic from Anna Mae’s pop-up at Glastonbury. These take the top two positions in my macaroni cheese chart, but I just want there to be more.
In the meantime I’ll be sticking to my own, which perhaps you’ll tell me is far too cheesy… I mean, it’s a definite possibility. With a mixture of mature Cheddar, Red Leicester and Gruyère it’s not a mild affair, and that’s just the way I like it!
Half a garlic clove
Pint of whole milk
60g unsalted butter
60g plain flour
125g Red Leicester, grated
125g Gruyère, grated
250g mature Cheddar, grated
1 tbsp English mustard
Salt and fresh black pepper
- Preheat your oven to gas mark 6/200C or 180C for fan assisted ovens.
- Drizzle a little olive oil into a medium-sized ovenproof dish and then rub with half a garlic clove, to ensure oil has coated the dish.
- Cook the macaroni in a large pan of salted water until al dente. Drain and drizzle with a little olive oil and toss, to prevent the pasta sticking together.
- In a saucepan melt the butter over a medium heat and then add the flour and whisk until you have a slightly golden roux. Slowly add the milk bit by bit, whisking all the time until the sauce thickens and begins to bubble.
- Remove off the heat and add in all the cheese, mustard and a small grating of nutmeg and mix well until everything has incorporated. Mix the cooked macaroni through the cheese sauce and season with salt and fresh black pepper.
- Pour into ovenproof dish and pop into the centre of your preheated oven for around 30 minutes, or until brown and bubbling.
- Remove and let sit for 5 minutes before tucking in.