Mirassou’s Macaroni and Cheese with Applewood Bacon
- Yield 8 servings
- Prep 25 mins
- Cook 65 mins
A fresh take on everyone's favorite -- mac and cheese.
For a perfect accompaniment, try Mirassou's Monterey County Chardonnay.
- 1/2 pound macaroni or small shell pasta
- 4 ounces thick-cut applewood bacon
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon dry mustard
- 3 1/2 cups whole milk
- 2 shallots, minced
- 12 ounces sharp white Cheddar, shredded
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Coarsely ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Cook pasta al dente in boiling salted water as directed on the package. Drain and set aside.
- While pasta cooks, cut bacon into 1/4-inch pieces. Saute in a small pan until crisp and golden. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of drippings. Return pan to low heat. Add bread crumbs and thyme to drippings and toss to coat evenly. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- In a 4-quart saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add flour, nutmeg and dry mustard. Stir with a wooden spoon. Continue to cook 3 minutes, stirring often. Whisk in milk in 1/2-cup increments, making sure to work the mixture smooth each time. Whisk in shallots; simmer 10 minutes, stirring often.
- Turn off heat and whisk in 3/4 of the cheese. Season sauce with salt and pepper. Stir in macaroni and bacon. Pour into a greased 2-quart baking dish. Top with remaining cheese. Sprinkle bread crumb mixture over top and bake uncovered 45 minutes or until cheese and bread crumbs are golden.
Recipe by Mirassou Winery.