Saucy Macaroni Cheese Recipe
This recipe is from BBCGoodFood.com (BBCGF).
I love macaroni cheese. It’s my favourite comfort food. I saw this recipe in the 2009 Good Food Calendar for March. It looked a bit of a variation on the norm so I thought I would give it a try.
Serves 4 | Prep 20 mins | Cook 15 mins
splash sunflower oil
1 medium onion, halved and sliced into thin wedges
250g broccoli, cut into long, slender florets
50g butter, softened
50g plain flour
100g mature cheddar, grated
50g parmesan, grated
1 rounded tsp Dijon, mustard
handful flat-leaf parlsey, roughly chopped
8 rashers streaky bacon, grilled until crisp
(1) Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the onion and a pinch of salt, then fry over a medium heat for 5-8 mins, stirring occasionally, until golden and crisp. Drain on on kitchen paper. Set aside, keep warm. (BBCGF)
OK nice and straightforward – that’s what I like!
(2) While the onion is cooking, tip the macaroni into a pan of boiling water and cook for 6 mins, then add the broccoli and cook for another 4 mins. Drain, then tip back into the pan. (BBCGF)
I actually cooked my broccoli for the whole 10 minutes as I thought it would be a bit crisp for our taste.
(3) Make the sauce while the macaroni cooks. Put the butter, flour and 700ml of the milk in a pan then, using a balloon whisk, whisk continuously over a medium heat until thickened and smooth. Simmer on a low heat for 2 mins. Combine the cheddar and Parmesan. Stir the mustard and three quarters of the cheese into the sauce. (BBCGF)
Ooh. My husband makes cheese sauce using this all-in-one method. And he makes a lot of cheese sauces – at least one a week for me for my Sunday roast as I don’t do gravy! I have to say I’m still amazed when it’s not lumpy but not being brave enough myself I used the old fashion roux method (melting the butter, stirring in the flour and then gradually adding the milk). I substituted the Parmesan (yuk!) for extra cheddar and actually ended up putting in a bit more cheddar still as the sauce wasn’t that tasty when I checked it. I didn’t bother with the mustard either.
(4) Stir the cheese sauce into the macaroni. If you want it a bit thinner, add some of the remaining milk and briefly warm through on a low heat. Season to taste. Top with a scattering of onions, parsley and the bacon, then serve with the rest of the cheese. (BBCGF)
When I read through the recipe trying to get a feel for how everything was going to come together at the same time I wondered “When do I cook the bacon?” Then I re-read the ingredients to find the bacon was already cooked. I thought this was a bit annoying and that they should have had cooking the bacon going on during steps (2) and (3).
TASTE ON TRIAL
Saucy Macaroni Cheese
Oh dear. My husband’s first comment was “Is this a white sauce?”. The accompanying screwed up facial expression didn’t help. I told him that I’d added extra cheese already but I have to admit it could have done with even more. Then the meal went from bad to worse. This is one of a handful of meals that he’s left half of. He did eat all the bacon bits though. He had had a bad day and wasn’t feeling too well but still … he always eats. That is when you wish you hadn’t bothered. As for me, I quite liked it – admittedly it would have been much better with more cheese but the crispy onions and bacon on top were a nice change.