Delicious comfort food with minimal work 🙂
I love mac and cheese but can rarely be bothered with the pre-cooking required to make it. There is always the risk of over-cooking the pasta and also ending up with a lumpy cheese sauce. Not with this recipe as it all cooks together in one dish in the oven. Simple!
Adding the beer to this recipe was a great idea as the flavour is really imparted into the macaroni itself. It adds a whole new dimension to the dish. (By the way, if you don’t like the idea of giving beer to your children then you could use milk instead.)
You could also add bacon, ham or mushrooms to this if you want to bulk it up even further.
Ingredients – serves 4:
- 1 and 1/2 cups light-coloured beer (like lager, pilsner or pale ale)
- 1 and 1/2 cups water
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 400g/14 oz dried macaroni elbows
- 125g/4.5 oz cream cheese, diced into small pieces
- freshly ground black pepper, to season
- 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
- fresh parsley leaves, optional, to serve
- Heat your oven to 200C/180C fan forced/390F and spray a large oven-proof dish with a little cooking spray.
- Put the beer, water and mustard into a jug and stir to mix.
- Put the macaroni elbows into the prepared dish and pour over the beer mixture. Stir.
- Scatter the diced cream cheese over the top and season with black pepper. (It doesn’t have to be neat as you will be stirring it later.)
- Cover the dish with aluminium foil and bake for 40 minutes, stirring half way through this cooking time. The cream cheese should dissolve into the sauce.
- Remove the dish from the oven and stir in half the grated cheese.
- Ensure that the macaroni is as submerged as possible, then scatter the remaining grated cheese on top.
- Bake (uncovered) for a further 20 minutes or until the pasta is cooked and the cheese is golden.
- Remove from the oven and leave to sit for 5 minutes before serving topped with fresh parsley leaves (if you have them).