Friday, 2 April 2010

Macaroni Cheese

Firstly let me start by saying I hate macaroni cheese. I love cheese, I love most types of pasta, hell, I love macaroni pudding but macaroni cheese seriously makes me want to yack. Mr M happens to love macaroni cheese. Typical. He used to get his mum to make it for him but I've discovered and perfected a recipe now (I originally found it on BBC Good Food but have tweaked the cheeses a little) so when I am going out for the evening and not eating with him he can be pretty sure he'll get served one of his favourite dishes. Much to my dismay, the kids also seem to like macaroni cheese. What is wrong with these people?

Below is my standard recipe, I've made others - one I made the other month was bright orange, I kid you not, that was not such a hit but this is always the one I come back to.

Macaroni Cheese


175g mature cheddar

100g Parmesan
50g white bread, crusts cut off
3 tomatoes

280g macaroni

700ml full fat milk, plus extra

50g butter

50g plain flour
1 rounded tsp Dijon mustard


Finely grate all the cheeses, keeping them separate. Tear the bread into pieces and whizz in a food processor to make coarse breadcrumbs. Mix 25g of the cheddar and a quarter of the Parmesan into the breadcrumbs. Mix the rest of the cheeses together and set aside. Slice the tomatoes and butter a dish about 30 x 20 x 5.5cm. Pre-heat the oven to 190c/gas mark 5.

Tip the macaroni into a pan of boiling water, stir and bring it back to the boil. Simmer for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally to stop it sticking.

Whilst the macaroni is simmering, start making the sauce. Warm the milk in a jug in the microwave or in a pan. Melt the butter in a large pan that is big enough to hold the macaroni then stir in the flour. Cook for 1 minute, stirring continuously and then take off the heat. Pour in a third of the warm milk and beat well with a wooden spoon until smooth. Add another third, keep beating well until it goes smooth. Pour in the last third and beat again until smooth.

When the macaroni is ready, tip it into a colander and briefly run it under the hot tap to keep it from sticking and drain well. Put the pan of sauce back on the heat and cook, stirring all the time, until thickened and smooth. Lower the heat and simmer for about 4 minutes until glossy, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheeses and mustard and beat in enough milk to give a slack consistency. Taste and season as necessary.

If the macaroni is sticking run under the hot top again. Drain well and mix gently into the sauce and stir to coat completely. If neccessary, adjust the consistency again with milk. There should be enough sauce to coat the macaroni thickly.

Tip into the buttered dish, scatter over the cheesy breadcrumbs and lay the tomatoes over the top. Heat in the oven for around 15 minutes until beginning to bubble around the edges. Grill for a few minutes to brown the crumbs and then serve whilst piping hot.

My tips...if at the point of mixing the milk into the butter and flour it all goes lumpy, just give it a good hard whisk for a few minutes, it will come smooth again - have faith! Be careful when you put it under the grill, it literally needs a minute or two, I've burnt the topping more than once.

This recipe will easily serve four with a good plate of vegetables. Peas, it's always peas in this house with a dollop of tomato ketchup. I'm retching at the thought.

But if you like macaroni cheese, fill your boots - go forth and enjoy!

love & kisses
Mrs M x


  1. I love macaroni cheese. Unfortunately, so does my rear end a little too much so I have to moderate how often I eat it. Looks a nice recipe tho, thanks.

  2. I love macaroni cheese too, what's wrong with you woman? ;-) My husband doesn't eat cheese though so I make it for me and the kids. The ultimate wrongness is those macaroni cheeses with the powdered stuff like Pasta n Sauce. Ick!

  3. It's just grim. On paper I should love it. I think it's the macaroni I don't like. Who knows.

  4. Thank goodness I've found someone else who doesn't like the stuff. My kids like it but then we live in Scotland and its pretty much a national dish it even gets shoved in pies up here :)

  5. I have a confession to make. I've never had macaroni cheese. At 33! How lame is that? I'll give your recipe a go and see if a) I love it or b) it makes me yack.

  6. Taz, come and sit in the corner with me. Macaroni haters together.

    Alison, do try it and I want to hear what you think!


I always like to hear your thoughts, so please do leave a comment!