Prep 30 mins
Cook 30 mins
This is based on a popular dish at T's restaurant in Chicago. But I modified what I tasted and added a touch of bacon to really give it some heartiness. Whoever you serve this to will immediately declare it the best mac 'n' cheese they've ever had. Unite against boxed mac 'n' cheese!
- butter, for casserole dish
- 6 -8 slices thick center-cut bacon
- 1 medium white onion, finely chopped
- 1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour
- 5 1⁄2 cups whole milk (do not use skim)
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 1⁄2 cups grated parmesan cheese (about 4 1/2 ounces)
- 1 1⁄2 cups grated gruyere cheese (about 6 ounces)
- 1 1⁄2 cups grated Fontina cheese (about 6 ounces)
- 1 1⁄2 cups gorgonzola, broken into small pieces (about 6 ounces)
- 1 lb elbow macaroni
- Heat oven at 375 degrees. Butter a 3-quart casserole dish. Fry bacon slices; set on paper towels. Pour off all but approximately 3 tablespoons of the bacon grease. Put pan back on medium heat and add onion. Cook about 5 minutes, until softened. While stirring constantly, add about a third of the flour; continue stirring and slowly adding flour, for at least 1 minute.
- Transfer onion/flour mixture to a large, heavy saucepan on medium heat. While whisking, slowly pour in milk. Cook while whisking until mixture bubbles and gets thicker (not necessarily "thick"). Remove pan from heat. Add salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, the cheeses and stir. Crumble bacon and add it, stirring. Set aside.
- Cook pasta in a large saucepan about 2-3 minutes less than box's instructions. Drain pasta in a colander, rinse with cold water, and drain again. Stir pasta into the cooked cheese sauce. Bake until browned on top, about 30 minutes. Let dish stand for at least 5 minutes before serving.
Absolutely loved the combo of cheeses used here, & the addition of bacon really kicked this mac & cheese up another notch! Originally chosen to be made as a gift for a neighbor couple, this time around we simply invited them over for dinner so we could keep hole of any left overs! Thanks for sharing this great recipe! A definite treat for anyone who makes it! [Made & reviewed for one of my adopted chefs in this Spring's round of Pick A Chef]