I adapted this recipe to make it my own because the bacon book version called for white wine and Grana Padano cheese as well as some other somewhat-expensive ingredients that I just didn't feel like going out to pick up. I also added broccoli for colour, flavour and nutrition.
This recipe may seem arduous to make, but it really isn't. If you plan enough time and do it in steps, it's a snap. Don't worry about your cooked ingredients getting cold as you do other steps, it all goes in the oven in the end anyway.
After coming out of the oven
Jamie's Homemade Bacon and Broccoli Mac and Cheese
Serves 4 very hungry people or 8 if you have it with a side salad
-1 1/2 cups of uncooked elbow macaroni
-3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
-3 cups 2% milk (heated for 2 minutes in the microwave)
-4 rounded tbsp butter (meaning it doesn't have to be exact and it's fine, possibly better if you take a little more. Just eyeball it.)
-4 tbsp flour (more if needed)
-Breadcrumbs, just enough to cover the casserole
-Onion powder, black pepper, dry mustard (not necessary if you don't have any, substitute with some garlic powder or other like spice), to taste
-6-8 strips of bacon, depending on taste
-1 crown of broccoli, stem cut off and head cut into florets (when you buy broccolli you usually get 2 crowns held together by an elastic band, you only need one of those for this recipe)
Preheat oven to 350degrees F.
1. Cook macaroni according to package instructions, drain and set aside
2. Cook broccoli, set aside
3. Cook bacon, set aside
4. Melt about 2 tbsp butter over medium heat in a heavy saucepan and add enough flour to make a roux (when the mixture is somewhat thick, but the flour and butter are mixed well. Generally equal parts butter and flour will do the trick)
5. Add milk slowly, stirring constantly,
6. Stir in cheese, by the handful, stirring constantly, and cook over low heat until cheese is melted and sauce is a little thick.
7. Stir in your seasonings other than paprika
8. Brown breadcrumbs in 2 tbsp butter in a saucepan, and crumble the bacon
9. Put macaroni in the pot with the sauce, along with the broccoli and bacon. Mix well.
10. Pour into casserole dish (whatever size you think it will fit nicely in) and add breadcrumbs and paprika on top.
11. Bake at 350degrees F. for 30 minutes or until a little brown and bubbly.
Before going into the oven