Macaroni Cheese with Smoked Bacon, Leeks and Two Mustards

Macaroni Cheese with Smoked Bacon, Leeks and 2 Mustards

100g Butter
100g Plain Flour
1.2 litres full fat milk
100 ml double cream
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon Dijon or English Mustard
1 teaspoon Wholegrain Mustard
400g Mature Cheddar – grated OR 200g Cheddar and 200g Gruyere or Emmental Grated
Lots of freshly grated black pepper
A good scraping of a fresh nutmeg – about 8-10 scrapes down a grater
500g Macaroni
200g smoked bacon lardons
3 large leeks, cleaned and sliced thinly
100g white breadcrumbs
100g grated Parmesan
Optional: 3 tomatoes, sliced and/or two mozzarella balls, sliced.

Preheat your oven to 200~C/Gas6
Melt the butter in a large saucepan, and stir in the flour until smooth. Allow to cook over a low heat for a couple of minutes. Whisk in the milk and cream, and add the bayleaves. Continue whisking over a moderate heat until the sauce thickens and starts bubbling. This could take up to 10 minutes. Take the pan off the heat, remove the bay leaf and stir in the cheese and the mustard, plus the pepper and nutmeg. With the quantity of cheese in the sauce, you should not need any salt. Meanwhile, bring a very large pan full of water to the boil, with a tablespoon of salt. Cook the macaroni in this for about 9 minutes or until al dente. At the same time, fry your bacon lardons in another pan until crispy. Add the sliced leeks, frying and stirring regularly until slightly softened. Add the bacon/leeks and macaroni to the cheese sauce, and pour into a large, shallow buttered oven-proof dish. Scatter the breadcrumbs and parmesan all over the top, and if you fancy top with either or both of the optional tomatoes and mozzarella. Bake for 20-30 minutes or so until golden and bubbling. Serve with green veg or salad.

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