Macaroni cheese is a classic and surprisingly easy to make. Forget the packet stuff, once you realise how easy this recipe is and how much better it tastes you’ll never look back. Mac cheese has got a bit of a bad reputation for being a bland ready meal but it needn’t be the case. The mustard, white pepper, stock and thyme are what makes this recipe so good so make sure you don’t leave these out.
Macaroni Cheese Ingredients
- 500g of dried macaroni
- 1 teaspoon of english mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon of white pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon of Bouillon (vegetable stock granules)
- 3 bay leaves
- bunch of fresh thyme
- 100g of mature cheddar cheese
- 35g of fresh parmesan cheese
- 1 fresh chilli
- 1 handful of breadcrumbs
Basic White Sauce Ingredients
- 40g of butter
- 3 tablespoons of plain flour
- 750ml of milk
Cook the macaroni in a large pan of salted water as per the instructions on the packet (typically about 11 minutes). Aim to cook the macaroni a little less than al dente as the pasta will continue to cook a little when in the oven with the cheese sauce.
Meanwhile make the basic white sauce by melting the butter over a medium heat in a saucepan. Next add the plain flour and immediately start whisking. The butter/flour mixture will form a dry paste. Continue to cook this off for 2-3 minutes while continuing to whisk.
Next start adding the milk a little at a time, whisking throughout. After about 10 minutes the sauce should be a nice pouring consistency. Add in the bay leaves, thyme leaves, cheddar, chopped chilli, mustard, pepper and vegetable stock powder and continue to stir with the whisk for a few minutes.
Once the pasta is cooked drain it over a colander. If you sauce is a little thick you can use some of the pasta water to thin it a little. Don’t forget that your sauce will continue to thicken when in the oven so aim to have it slightly too thin when you combine it in the tray/dish with the pasta.
Add the pasta to the saucepan with the sauce and stir to combine the two. Finally pour it into an oven proof dish before sprinkling the grated parmesan and breadcrumbs on top and bake for about 20 minute at 180°c until the top looks golden brown. If you really can’t wait brown off the top under the grill.