Mac and cheese is a favorite around here. All my kids know how to make it from scratch, without that day-glo orange glop that comes from a box. It’s one of their go-to dishes when they make dinner. Or lunch. Or just a snack.
But, because everything is better with bacon, I decided to jazz it up and add bacon this time around. Oh man, this is a heart attack on a plate but it sure was good for a splurge.
- Bacon, about a pound
- Cheddar Cheese, 2 pounds. I used a mix of White Sharp and regular old Sharp
- Butter, 6 tablespoons (or bacon grease)
- Flour, 1/2 cup
- Milk, 3 1/2 cups
- Elbow Macaroni, 1 pound
- Black Pepper
- Bread Crumbs, I used Panko because it was in the pantry. Any will do. Or make your own.
Fry up the bacon until it’s pretty crisp, drain on paper towels and set it aside until it’s cool enough to handle.
While it’s cooking, grate the cheese and put the water on for the pasta.
In a large heavy saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat until it’s nice and bubbly. Stir in the flour and cook for another couple of minutes. Add the milk and continue cooking and stirring until it’s thick and smooth.
As I was doing this, my son (who is the King of Bacon Frying) asked what I wanted to do with the bacon grease. It suddenly dawned on me that I should’ve used the bacon grease instead of butter to add even more yummy bacon flavor. There’s always next time.
Add about half the cheese and a generous amount of black pepper.
Stir over low heat until the cheese is melted. By now the pasta should be about done.
Crumble the bacon.
Drain the pasta and mix it with the cheese sauce.
Pour about a third of the mixture into a large casserole dish.
Add a layer of bacon and cheeses. Repeat with two more layers.
Sprinkle the top with bread crumbs, a little more bacon and a bit more pepper.
Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes, until it’s nice and bubbly and beginning to brown.
Serve it up and enjoy!