Fox Pines Ultimate Mac and Cheese

Who doesn’t love a comfort food like mac and cheese, especially now that the autumn weather is really setting in.

My mac and cheese has some smoked cheese and bacon to add a lovely depth of flavor.  I love about any smoked food anyway.


Fox Pines Ultimate Mac and Cheese

½ c butter
½ c flour
1 medium onion, diced
4 cups of milk
4 ½ c shredded sharp cheddar cheese,  divided (smoked if you have it!)
2 ½ c shredded smoked Gouda cheese, divided
5-6 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
3 tbsp whole grain mustard
2 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
1 /2 tsp salt
¼ tsp chili powder (smoked works great – I use Santa Fe or Ancho chili powder)
¼ tsp grated nutmeg

1 16 ox package of elbow macaroni, cooked

If you haven’t cooked the bacon or cooked the macaroni, do that first. I don’t always read all the way through the recipe either.  Grate the cheese and dice the onion too.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large (like the biggest one you have) cast iron skillet, melt the butter over medium heat.  Add the diced onion, cooking for 3-4 minutes until tender.

Add the flour, and whisk together.  Whisk constantly until it just starts to turn brown.  I don’t let mine get very dark.

Add the milk, continuing to whisk and stir until the milk starts to thicken.  It can take a few minutes. Do not let it scorch or start sticking to the bottom of the skillet.

Add about 4 cups of the cheddar cheese and 2 cups of Gouda.  Also stir in the bacon, mustard, parsley, salt pepper and nutmeg.  Stir it all around until the cheese melts.

Put in the pasta and stir carefully. – the skillet is really full now!  Top with the remaining shredded cheddar and Gouda.

Bake until browned and bubbly – 30 minutes or so.

This makes a lot of mac and cheese – great for a family gathering, dinner buffet, or be prepared to have leftovers all week.

That works for me!  What is your favorite mac and cheese recipe?