The ultimate comfort food, perfect with a crisp green salad, but also surprisingly good as a side with steak.In the American South it’s sometimes made with condensed milk. The result is too sweet for us, but makes for an interestingly trashy version. We aim for a fondue consistency and like it with as much cheese as possible – more than you might think feasible.
- 500g elbow macaroni
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 clove of garlic
- 600ml whole milk
- 60g butter
- 60g flour
- 125g Colston Bassett Stilton, crumbled
- 125g Ogleshield, grated
- 250g Montgomery Cheddar, grated
- Maldon sea salt
- White pepper
- Pinch of ground nutmeg
We make these in individual cast iron pots, but you can make it in any medium-sized ovenproof dish.
Brush the dish with half the olive oil and rub with the cut clove of garlic.
Cook the macaroni in salted water until al dente. Drain and refresh under cold running water, then mix with the remaining oil.
Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6.
In a saucepan bring the milk up to boiling point, then reduce the heat and keep warm.
In another saucepan melt the butter over a medium heat, whisk in the flour and keep whisking until you have a pale golden ‘roux’ or grainy looking paste. Return this saucepan to a medium heat and ladle the hot milk into the roux, a cup at a time, whisking all the time and completely incorporating each cup before adding the next one. After all the milk has been added, continue to whisk until the sauce thickens and bubbles gently (about 2 minutes).
Take the pan off the heat, add the Stilton, Ogleshield and 125g of the Cheddar and stir until completely incorporated. Season to taste with salt and pepper and a pinch of nutmeg.
Pour three quarters of the sauce over the pasta and mix well. Tip the mixture into the baking dish. Top with the remaining sauce and half the remaining Cheddar.
Bake for 20 minutes. Sprinkle over the rest of the Cheddar and bake for another 10–15 minutes, or until brown.
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