Mac ’n’ cheese with beer and a crispy bacon crumb
- 300g macaroni
- 50g bread (2-3 days old), crusts removed
- 3 rashers Extra Special Oak Smoked Dry Cured Streaky Bacon
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1tbsp thyme leaves
- 150g mature Cheddar, grated
- 50g butter, plus extra for greasing
- 40g plain flour
- 1tsp English mustard
- 600ml full-fat milk
- 100ml ale or lager
- 1tbsp Worcestershire sauce, plus extra for splashing
- 100g Extra Special Taleggio or ripe Brie, rind removed, cut into 1cm cubes
Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6. Grease a large ovenproof dish or pan.
Bring a large pan of water to the boil, add the macaroni and simmer for 10 mins until just cooked.
Meanwhile, to make the crumb topping, put the bread, bacon, garlic, thyme and 30g of the Cheddar in a processor and blitz to a coarse crumb. Set aside.
To make the cheese sauce, melt the butter in a pan over a medium heat. Add the flour and mustard, stir together and cook for 2 mins to get a smooth paste. Gradually whisk in the milk, a little at a time, followed by the ale or lager. Cook for 5 mins until the sauce has thickened.
Remove from the heat and add the Worcestershire sauce and remaining Cheddar. Stir until the cheese has melted and is well combined.
Drain the cooked pasta and return to its pan. Add the cheese sauce and mix until well combined, then stir in the Taleggio.
Transfer to the ovenproof dish, scatter over the bacon crumb mixture and top with a couple of splashes of Worcestershire sauce. Bake for 20-25 mins until golden and bubbling.