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Mac & Cheese with a bacony twist

ingredients

  • 100g butter
  • 100g plain flour
  • 1tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1.2litres whole milk
  • 5 tbsp double cream
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 400g mature Cheddar, grated
  • 500g dried macaroni
  • 100g smoked bacon, diced
  • 50g Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 spring onion, chopped
  • black pepper
  • grated nutmeg

METhOD

1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan, stir in the plain flour and cook for a minute. Add the mustard, then take the pan off the heat and gradually whisk in the milk and cream. Add the bay leaf, put the pan back on the heat and cook the sauce, stirring constantly, until it boils and is thick and bubbling.

2. Take the pan off the heat again, remove the bay leaf and add the Cheddar, then keep stirring until the cheese has melted. Season with black pepper and grated nutmeg.

3. Boil the macaroni in a large pan of salted boiling water for about 10 minutes or until al dente, then drain well.

4. Butter an ovenproof dish that’s about 35 x 20cm in size and preheat the oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C. Fry the diced bacon until crisp and add to the cheese sauce. Stir the cooked macaroni into the sauce and pour everything into the buttered dish. Sprinkle the Parmesan and spring onion over the top. Bake for 25–30 minutes until golden and bubbling. Serve with a green salad.