Baking with Mrs Bouw: Neil Perry's Mac & Cheese!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Warning, this recipe is not for the faint hearted so to any of you clean eaters, look away and look away now hee hee. In Wednesday nights post I mentioned that the theme I selected for our monthly ladies Cooking Club was 'Restaurant Favourites'. I am a complete sucker for a good side dish to accompany my main meal and one of my all time favourites is Neil Perry's 'Mac & Cheese' which can be found on the menu at Rockpool Bar & Grill in either Sydney, Melbourne or Perth. This was the first time I had made it and it was actually super easy especially as most of the preparation can be done in advance. It was a real hit amongst my guests (particularly my vegetarian ones as I made one dish bacon free to accommodate them) and I can happily say I will be adding this recipe to my little black book... it may be a heart stopper but it is sexy and delicious and leaves you wanting moooorrrre! So here you are my friends...

Neil Perry's 'Mac & Cheese'


400g dried macaroni
Extra virgin olive oil
3 rashers smoky bacon, diced (I used 5 hee hee)
500ml pure cream
125g grated good-quality Cheddar
250g grated good-quality Gruyere
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon paprika
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
80g fresh breadcrumbs
100g finely grated Parmesan


- Put the macaroni in a saucepan with plenty of boiling salted water and cook for 8-10 minutes, or until al dente.

- Drain and refresh in iced water, then drain again and pat dry with a cloth or tea towel.

- Heat a little extra virgin olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until golden. Remove and drain on paper towels.

- Add the cream to the same pan, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Add the cheeses, garlic, mustard and paprika and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring, until the cheese has melted and the sauce is thick. Season and add the macaroni and bacon.

- Preheat the grill. Place the macaroni mixture into four bowls or one large gratin dish (I used 2 medium dishes). Mix the breadcrumbs with a little oil. Sprinkle the Parmesan over the macaroni, then the breadcrumbs, Grill until golden brown and with a crisp crust.

- Enjoy! :)

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