Guys, this is literally one of my favorite dishes to make when I am cooking for a larger group of people. The only reason I say to cook this for a crowd, is because its really hard to cut the ingredients and serving amounts back, without being wasteful of all the amazing cheese we will be using! With this in mind, if I am really craving mac and cheese (which happens quite often because it’s like literally my favorite!), I will prepare this and freeze a portion of it before baking it in the oven. This is actually great because it makes for an easy meal on a night when we don’t have a bunch of time!
What You’ll Need
16 oz. box of Macaroni Noodles (boiled)
Block of Gouda Cheese (shredded)
Block of Sharp White Cheddar Cheese (shredded)
A stick of butter
1/2 cup of flour
1 lb. of Bacon (prepared and crumbled)
4 cups of Whole Milk
1 Shallot (minced)
1 Tablespoon of Red Pepper Flakes
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
I start out by boiling my pasta and baking my bacon in the oven at 420 degrees. I like to get this out of the way first. While that is going on, I go ahead and prep up my shallot, and shred my cheeses for ease of access when the time comes.
Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees. Next, melt the stick of butter in a 12 in. cast iron skillet, and add flour to make a roux. Cook this, stirring constantly with a whisk, for about 8 minutes or until a light brown color is achieved. Next stir in the onions, and cook for 3-4 minutes or until tender. Pour in the four cups of milk, and stir occasionally until sauce begins to thicken. Now whisk in the salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, crumbled bacon, and 3/4s of your shredded cheese. Whisk really well so that the cheese really melts into the sauce. After 2-3 minutes, stir in your boiled noodles, and cover with remaining cheeses. Pop in the oven for 20-25 minutes. It is usually done by the time 20 minutes has elapsed. Then I like to crack the oven door, and put it on broil for just a minute or two.
I cannot talk enough about how amazing this dish is! My family absolutely loves this dish! While it is a decent amount of work for a mac and cheese, it is DEFINITELY worth the labor of love required. And if you do happen to have leftovers, this dish only gets better overnight! Give it a try next time you are playing host or hostess! It will not disappoint!
P.S. It wouldn’t be a Holiday in our house without the Denver Broncos salt and pepper shakers!