The ultimate comfort food, this mac and cheese recipe incorporates three different cheeses for an indulgent dinner, best served with a bitter leaf salad topped with a tangy lemon dressing. Feel free to adapt and substitute the cheeses for your favourites or for what you have available at home. If you can, try to support local artisan producers such the Specialist Cheesemakers Association, helping to support the purchase of cheeses you might not have heard of.
- 250g macaroni
- 50g butter, plus extra for greasing
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1 sprig of thyme
- 35g plain flour
- 650ml whole milk
- Small pinch of nutmeg, freshly grated
- ½ tsp English mustard powder (or 1tsp. strong mustard)
- 150g mature cheddar or Lincolnshire Poacher
- 150g emmental or comte cheese
For the breadcrumbs
- 2tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 120g coarse breadcrumbs or panko
- 2tbsp. grated parmesan
- Bring a large saucepan with water up to a boil, add a couple of large pinches of salt and cook the macaroni for three minutes less than the recommended cooking time. Drain and refresh in cold water.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter in a saucepan, add the garlic and thyme, cook until golden brown and remove from the saucepan. Stir in the flour, cook for a couple of minutes stirring constantly and then add the milk gradually until you have a smooth sauce with no lumps. Add in the nutmeg, mustard and cheeses, stir well, and check the seasoning for salt and pepper.
- Combine the pasta and the cheese sauce together, check the seasoning one more time and pour into a greased baking dish.
- For the breadcrumbs, heat a frying pan over a medium high heat with the oil and add the breadcrumbs. If possible, make your own breadcrumbs with old bread and pulse to coarse chunks using a food processor. Otherwise, Panko breadcrumbs will work too. After a minute, add the cheese, stir well, turn the heat off and sprinkle over the pasta.
- Preheat your Miele Oven to Fan Grill 200°C and when ready, bake the macaroni on shelf no.3 for about 15 – 20 minutes or until golden and bubbly.