There are probably as many macaroni pie recipes from Trinidad – where my parents are from – as there are Trinidadians, and I've evolved this one over the years. This version has a Christmas Ham inspired toasty topping. While it can be served as an indulgent main, in Trinidad it's often cooled then chopped into squares as a party, barbecue or beach snack, and served with Tabasco.
- 500 g macaroni
- 30 ml olive oil
- 6 slices bacon
- 1 onion
- 400 ml evaporated milk
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 2 -6 red chilies, deseeded and finely chopped
- 250 g cheddar cheese, grated
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 teaspoons black treacle
- 1 teaspoon mustard powder
- 1 tablespoon demerara sugar
- 2 -3 slices bread, crushed into breadcrumbs
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Cook the macaroni in salted water until al dente. Drain and cool.
- Fry the bacon in the oil until all the fat has rendered, then remove from the pan, retaining the fat. Mix the topping ingredients with the fat, breadcrumbs last. Finely chop the bacon.
- Mince the onion in a food processor with a little evaporated milk. Mix in the eggs and the rest of the milk, and season. Combine with the macaroni.
- Stir in the bacon, chillies and most of the cheese.
- Pour it all into a large, greased oven dish. Sprinkle the leftover cheese on top, then the topping. Bake for 30-40 minutes, then rest for at least 20 more, or overnight to serve cold the next day.