Mac and cheese is pretty much the universal comfort food of the world. I don’t think there is anything more comforting than a warm bowl of Mac and Cheese. It could be enjoyed any time of the year.
This Mac and Cheese recipe is the greatest. It is the perfect combination of cheesy, creamy, and gooey goodness. Its definitely a must try. This recipe starts with a creamy cheese sauce. Quick side note about cheese. For my recipe, I use equal amounts of shredded cheese and cubed cheese. It’s very important to grate the cheese by hand instead of using shredded cheese from a bag, it is not the same, Trust Me!! Shredded cheese that comes in a bag is actually coated in an anti-caking agent so the cheese won’t stick together in the bag, which is the reason why it won’t melt that great in a sauce.
Back to the sauce. This sauce is made by making a roux (pronounced /ro͞o/). A roux is made with equal parts of fat and flour. The fat could be oil or butter, or any other preferred fat such as meat drippings. For this recipe, I use butter, or sometimes bacon fat. If I know, I’ll be mixing pork into the mac and cheese.
To start the roux you will melt butter or your fat of choice in a saucepan, and then whisk in flour until smooth. This should cook for about a minute. Once the roux has cooked, you will add your liquid; in this case, milk is added. At this point, I like to add a chicken bouillon cube for more flavor. Continue to mix the milk mixture until smooth, add shredded cheese, and whisk until the cheese has melted completely.
Once the macaroni is cooked, I like to take a cup of pasta water and keep it in case I need it. If the cheese sauce cools a bit, the pasta water may be needed to help thin the sauce to a stirrable consistency. In the event that you need to add the pasta water, do not add it all at once, add it a little at a time, as needed. Next, I drain the macaroni and dump it into a big bowl. I mix in the cheese sauce, and season to taste. I mix in the cubed cheese, pour the macaroni into a baking pan and bake on 350 degrees for about 30 – 35 minutes. I’m not the biggest fan of adding bread crumb to my mac and cheese, but if you love a bread crumb topping on your mac and cheese, you would add breadcrumb before you bake the mac and cheese. When I take the mac and cheese out of the oven, I like to add another handful or two of shredded cheese on top, and put the pan back in the oven just long enough for the cheese to melt.