Macaroni and cheese, along with collard greens and corn bread work beautifully with meat cooked American barbecue style. This mac and cheese, as it is commonly known, is one of my favourites for a lazy cooking night. Just add a charcoal chicken from the local chicken shop and a few dressed green leaves and enjoy.
1 small brown onion, finely diced
4 rashers streaky bacon, diced
150g grated aged cheddar
350g grated gruyere
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp seeded Dijon mustard
1 tsp smoked paprika
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tbsp chopped parsley
100g fresh sourdough breadcrumbs
Put the macaroni in a pot of boiling salted water and cook for eight-10 minutes, or until al dente. Drain and refresh in iced water, then drain again to remove excess water. Heat a little olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the diced onion and bacon and cook until golden.
Remove and drain on a paper towel. 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 fiveminutes, stirring, until the cheese has melted and sauce is thick. Season and add the macaroni, onion and bacon. Preheat the grill.
Place the macaroni mixture into one large gratin dish. Mix the breadcrumbs with a little oil. Sprinkle the parsley then the breadcrumbs over the mixture and grill until golden brown.