The other day I asked my hubby what he wanted for lunch. He mentioned some variation of Mac and Cheese. I wasn't feeling very inspired to make the stuff in the box with hot dogs added in and remembered some one mentioning using bacon fat to make the white sauce for mac and cheese. So I decided to make some bacon mac and cheese. One note I should make is that I cooked the bacon and made the sauce in my cast iron skillet, because I knew I could stick the skillet in the oven and wouldn't have to transfer everything to a casserole dish and make one more dirty dish, but if you don't have a skillet you can obviously use a frying pan and a casserole dish.
Bacon Cheddar Mac and Cheese
- 8 ounces uncooked pasta, (elbow macaroni, small shells, wheels, etc. what ever you like best)
- 1/2 pound bacon, chopped into small pieces
- 1/4 cup flour
- 3 cups milk
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
- 2 cups cheddar cheese, divided (i used medium)
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- 1 tablespoon, dried parsley flakes
Prepare pasta according to package directions. While pasta is cooking. Fry bacon in skillet over medium heat until crispy. Drain 1 tablespoon of bacon grease and set aside in a small bowl. Add 1/4 cup of flour to bacon and stir until bacon is coated with flour and dry. Add milk, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil, stirring so that flour and bacon grease becomes incorporated into milk and milk thickens. Once milk thickens, turn temperature to low. Stir in 1 1/2 cups cheese. Remove from heat. Drain pasta and add pasta to skillet. Toss until pasta is evenly coated with cheese sauce. In your small bowl, mix together bread crumbs parsley and 1 tablespoon bacon grease. Sprinkle top of pasta with remaining half cup of cheese and then bread crumb mixture. Place skillet in the oven and bake at 400F for 5-10 minutes, until cheese is melted and bread crumbs are golden brown.