I realize that I have shared several mac n' cheese recipes on my blog before (Chicken, Bacon, Ranch Mac N' Cheese - Mac N' Cheese with Steak and Sauteed Onions and Mushrooms). Both of those were using boxed mac n' cheese which I happened to have on hand due to a sale but rarely ever use. Ever since I learned how to make my own homemade mac n' cheese I have continued to tweak and play with the recipe and it has changed many times over. We love it plain but it is always fun to jazz it up with new ingredients as well.
Those of you who have been reading my grocery store posts or following Chrystal's Corner on Facebook know that I have recently gotten a HUGE stock of pasta built up. So this recipe doesn't actually use macaroni noodles because I wanted to use some of the penne I had on hand. I had been playing around with this recipe in my head for a little while and it finally all came together as I was cooking it. You could do lots of different things with this recipe like substituting the mustard and ketchup with BBQ sauce or using a variation of toppings. I am excited because I think it is a great summertime/BBQ/potluck version of mac n' cheese that I hope you will love as much as we did.
- 1 lb box of pasta (macaroni, penne, shells, etc)
- 1/2 lb of ground beef
- 6 slices of bacon
- 1/4 cup of ketchup
- 3 Tbsp. butter
- 4 Tbsp. flour
- 1-1/2 cup milk (more if your sauce is too thick for your liking)
- 3 packed cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (or whatever combination of cheese you like)
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 2 extra large egg yolks
- 2 heaping Tbsp. spicy brown mustard
- toppings of your choice (shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, chopped pickles, additional shredded cheese)
1. I start by getting the meat all cooked. Season your ground beef with a little salt and pepper and cook until brown and crumbled. Turn heat way down and add the ketchup, stirring until heated through. Remove from heat. In a separate pan (or on an electric skillet) cook up the bacon, remove to paper towel when crisp. Once cooled down chop the bacon into pieces and then mix it in with the meat mixture.
3. Time to make the sauce. Heat a pan over low heat and add the butter. Once melted stir in the flour until all mixed in and then let the mixture sit over the heat for about a minute. Slowly whisk in the milk stirring continuously as it thickens. Once thickened, remove from heat and stir in cheeses. Then stir in egg yolks and mustard. If the sauce is too thick just add in a splash of milk and stir some more.
4. Add the cooked pasta and the meat mixture to the sauce and blend all together. Pour into a 13x9 pyrex and pop in the oven cooking for 20-25 minutes. Dish up and add desired toppings.
**I was kind of writing this as I was making it so sorry there aren't more pictures...but I figure most of you know what cooked pasta and cheese sauce look like! I mostly wanted to come back to add that this really was delicious! My husband ate after the rest of us and just heated up the mac n cheese without any toppings and as he was shoveling in large fork fulls he kept saying, "This tastes JUST like a bacon burger!" I liked it with the extra stuff but it is a winner all by itself too:)