Smokin’ With the Dutchess – Smoked Mac ‘n Cheese
Okay… I’ve been jonesing for another issue of Smokin’ with the Dutchess, and just as we crave certain foods sometimes, the craving for one of her awesome guest posts can sometimes be too hard to bear! Luckily, she’s come through with another awesome BBQ Recipes archive entry for us… Smoked Mac and Cheese! Yup! Just when you thought a comfort food could not get more comfy… Hanneke Eerden(AKA “The Dutchess”) comes through!
Smoked Mac and Cheese – “Dutchess Style”
OK BBQ Smoker Site Fans! Guess what I have for you? Yes! Smoked Mac and Cheese straight from my Weber grill to your plate! So, you’d better get some napkins ready… because this will make you drool!
There are lots and lots of versions of this recipe, and I bet you all have your favorites, but please believe me when I say that you really have to try this version. If you don’t, you’ll miss something good for sure!
My Inspiration for this Take on an American Classic
While I was in the States two weeks ago (time flies…), I noticed that a lot of joints had mac and cheese on their menu and I loved it. So back home, an idea of a smoked version was jumping around in my head for a few days and I just had to try it!
Plus, it was a good excuse to use a piece of my homemade bacon too! For the wood I choose cherry, don’t know why actually, just because. You don’t always need reason, just like for this recipe, you make it just because…!
I’m Not One for Complicated Recipes…
I’m not a big fan of complicated recipes, especially not for comfort food. These recipes need to be simple and straight-forward, something you can whip up in the middle of the night. Trust me when I tell you that you’ll dream of a late snack like this from now on!
What do you need (4 persons, side dish):
- Macaroni pasta
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 thick slab of bacon, cut into cubes
- All-purpose flour (Kevin, from the BBQ Smoker Site prefers King Arthur!)
- 1 can evaporated milk
- ½ cup half and half (or use milk)
- 1 teaspoon chipotle chile pepper seasoning (or you can use smoked paprika)
- 1 tablespoon thyme
- 2 cups grated Gouda cheese
Putting it all together…
Prepare your smoker or use your Weber kettle grill like I did.
Cook the pasta and drain.
In the meantime, add butter to a saucepan and let it melt. Add the bacon cubes. When the bacon starts getting crispy, add some flour (start with 3-4 tablespoons and add more if needed).
Cook, and whisk constantly for about 1 minute. Gradually add the milk and whisk until you have a smooth sauce. Then it’s time to add the seasonings and herbs, pepper and some salt. Give it a good stir and let it simmer for a few minutes.
Add the cheese and then the pasta. Stir until combined.
Time for the BBQ Smoker!
Butter a pan, suitable for your smoker (preferably cast-iron), and laddle the pasta mixture in the pan (notice how the cheese is already melting!!! owww!). Sprinkle the top with more cheese (don’t be shy, the more the better!) and then it’s time to get it smoked!
Smoke it for 45 minutes. By that time the cheese should be bubbling fiercely and the top layer will be starting to get a light brown color. Just perfect!
Serving up Your Smoked Mac and Cheese!
I served my smoked mac ‘n cheese with chicken breasts (smoked and slathered with BBQ sauce, of course) and veggie skewers (drizzled with olive oil and dried italian herbs) and it was deeeelicious! Check out Doomer’s BBQ Sauce for a Maryland style treat!
Bon Appetit! And be sure to check out the BBQ recipes in the Smokin’ with the Dutchess series!
Hanneke ~The Dutchess
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