Extra Cheesy Mac ‘n’ Cheese

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!

mac n cheese photo

Ingredients:

(serves 4-6)

Olive oil
500g macaroni
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
Nutmeg
Salt and fresh black pepper

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to gas mark 6/200C or 180C for fan assisted ovens.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Pour into ovenproof dish and pop into the centre of your preheated oven for around 30 minutes, or until brown and bubbling.
  7. Remove and let sit for 5 minutes before tucking in.

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