I couldn’t imagine opening a bar without mac and cheese on the menu, and I couldn’t imagine making a mac and cheese without bacon. This recipe gets a triple dose of bacon, starting with the sauce and ending with the bread crumbs, proving yet again that too much of something (umm, bacon, that is) is never enough.
Make the bacon lardons: In a large sauté pan over medium heat, combine the oil and bacon and cook, turning a few times, until the bacon is golden brown and crispy and the fat has rendered, about 8 minutes.
Remove the bacon using a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towels. Pour ¼ cup plus
Make the bread crumbs: Heat the reserved bacon fat and the butter in a small sauté pan over high heat until it begins to shimmer. Add the panko and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and crispy, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
Make the macaroni and cheese:
In a large pot, bring the milk to a simmer over low heat.
Combine the remaining 2 tablespoons bacon fat and the butter in a medium saucepan over high heat until it begins to shimmer. Add the flour and
In a large bowl, stir the cheese sauce into the cooked pasta, fold in the bacon, and transfer to the prepared baking dish or pan.
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