Hey BRML readers, it’s Larry. I don’t do the majority of cooking in the house, but I do like to cook a few times a month when I can. One of my favorite recipes (Dad’s specialty as the kids call it) is my homemade Macaroni and Cheese. I have a few varieties, but the overall family favorite is my Creamy Cheddar and Bacon Macaroni Recipe. While certainly not healthy, it tastes incredible and makes for a great hearty winter dinner recipe.
Creamy Cheddar and Bacon Macaroni Recipe
Here’s what you’ll need:
3 quart casserole dish
1 loaf of fresh, quality french bread
2 sticks of unsalted butter
5 1/2 cups milk
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt (we prefer sea salt)
1/4 teaspoon garlic power (or more per taste)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more per taste)
8 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 boxes precooked smoked bacon, or one package of raw smoked bacon
1 pound elbow macaroni
Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 3-quart casserole dish; set aside.
Slice the fresh bread into 1-2″ slices. Pull 1/2″ to 1 ” chunks of bread off and place them into a medium bowl. Do not use the crust, just the inside of the bread. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 1 stick of butter. Pour melted butter into the bowl with bread, and toss to distribute the butter. Set the breadcrumbs aside.
In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, heat milk.
If using raw bacon, cook bacon, drain and set aside to cool.
Melt another stick of butter in a high-sided skillet or pan over medium heat. When butter bubbles, add flour. Whisk constantly for 1 minute until flour-butter mixture is thick and combined.
Slowly pour the hot milk into flour-butter mixture while continuing to whisk the mixture. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and becomes thick.
Cut bacon into small pieces, about 1/4″ – 1/2″ wide.
Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in salt, garlic powder, black pepper, cayenne pepper, 5 cups cheddar and bacon pieces. Set cheese sauce aside. If you like your meals a little more spicy, add a little extra cayenne and black pepper.
Fill a large saucepan with water. Bring to a boil. Add macaroni; cook 2 to 3 fewer minutes than manufacturer’s directions, until outside of pasta is cooked and inside is underdone. Drain and rinse under cold running water. Stir macaroni into the cheese sauce.
Pour the mixture into the buttered casserole dish. Sprinkle remaining 3 cups of cheddar on top of the mixture, and scatter breadcrumbs over the top. Bake until browned on top, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool for 5-10 minutes; serve.
Let us know what you think! Our family loves it, and whenever we make it and bring it to an event or social gathering, people always ask us for the recipe.