My Almost Famous Bacon Mac

Every time I make my bacon mac it only lasts about two days in my house, the boys just can’t seem to stay out of of it. With a nice rich cheese sauce and the spice from both the pepper and jalapenos whats not to love. If you don’t like spice you can take out the jalapenos and just lightly pepper the sauce. The smokiness from the bacon adds another wonderful element to the dish. We love this dish so much that we have to limit how much we make it. I hope this will be a wonderful treat to add to your families dinner list.

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With that being said lets get started!

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Start off by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. In a pan place 2 jalapenos, 6 shallots, and about 8 small cloves or 4 large cloves of garlic and drizzle them with a tablespoon of olive oil. Place in the oven and roast for about 30 minutes.

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While the vegetables are in the oven roasting, place a pan on the stove top and get it hot on medium high heat. Once the pan is hot enough start cooking one pound of bacon. Since were out of our home grown pepper bacon, I buy the thick cut flavored bacon. I’ve tried a couple different flavors, but two of our favorite flavors to use is maple pepper bacon or smoked cherry wood bacon, they really add a good flavor to the mac and cheese. When the bacon is done cooking place on a plate with paper towels to blot of some of the extra bacon grease off. Be sure to have a bowl on the side to save the bacon grease out of the pan, we will use that later.

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Once the vegetables are done roasting in the oven put them to the side so they can cool down.

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When the bacon has cooled down enough to handle chop the bacon into bite size pieces.

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Same thing for the vegetables, when they have cooled down dice into small pieces.

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Chop a couple stalks of green onions.

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In a large pan heat one tablespoon of bacon fat and add two tablespoons of flour. While your starting to make the cheese sauce this would be a great time start cooking your pasta.

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Give a good whisk until all the flour is mixed with the bacon fat.

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Add four cups of heavy cream.

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Add one teaspoon or more, like I did, and whisk until the cream has reduced by a third. I put my heat on medium high for this, but be sure to continually stir the cream or it will scorch.

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Add in the pepper jack and sharp cheddar cheese, and salt and pepper to taste.

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Stir in 3/4 of the bacon and the vegetables.

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In another bowl place one cup bread crumbs, 1/4 of the bacon, salt and pepper, and green onions and give it a good stir.

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Add two tablespoons melted butter and stir until everything is evenly coated.

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Place cooked pasta in a 9′ X 13′ pan.

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Pour in cheese sauce.

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Mix everything together. Typing this is making me super hungry.

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Evenly coat the mac and cheese with the bread crumb mixture.

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Place in the oven for about 25 minutes or until the sides are bubbling and the topping is a nice golden brown.

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Serve in a bowl and enjoy. I hope you all love this recipe as much as we do in my house.

Ingredients:
2 jalapenos
6 shallots, peeled
8 small garlic cloves (or 4 large), peeled
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lb bacon
1 tablespoon of bacon fat
2 tablespoons of flour
4 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon thyme (fresh or dried)
1 1/4 cups (1 package) of shredded pepper jack cheese
1 1/4 cups (1 package) of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper
1 lb penne pasta, cooked
1 cup bread crumbs
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons parsley (fresh or dried)
2 green onion stalks, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place jalapenos, shallots, and garlic in a pan and drizzle with one tablespoon of olive oil. Roast them for about 30 minutes. Let cool and chop them into small pieces. On medium high heat cook one pound of bacon, reserving the bacon fat. Once the bacon has cooled, chop into bite size pieces. In a large pot of water cook the pasta. While the pasta is cooking place one tablespoon bacon fat in a large pan and let it get hot. Once the bacon fat gets hot place two tablespoons flour in the pan and whisk for a minute. Add in four cups of heavy cream and 1 teaspoon thyme, whisk continuously until it has reduced by a third. Once the cream has reduced, stir in both pepper jack cheese and sharp cheddar cheese, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir in both the vegetables and 3/4 of the bacon. When the pasta is done cooking strain and place pasta in a 9′ X 13′ pan. Pour cheese sauce over pasta and stir. For the topping, in a bowl place bread crumbs, parsley, bacon and green onions, and give a good mix. Pour melted butter into the bowl and mix again. Evenly spread bread mixture on top of the cheese and pasta and bake for 25 minutes or until its bubbling and topping is golden brown.

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