This recipe is a life saver if you need to plan ahead or feed in bulk!
The quantities are LARGE, I use an 8 litre stock pot for the final mix through but you end up with truckloads of yummy mac cheese, perfect for during the holidays when you might want a night off as it freezes really well. I also freeze it in a variety of sized trays, family, three portions or teenage boy portions!
The mac cheese in the foreground has just been baked, all the rest are heading into my freezer.
Serves 14-18 depending on your portions.
500g pancetta, speck or smoked bacon, rind removed and finely diced
1 kg macaroni
200g plain flour
2 litres milk
1kg cheddar, grated
salt and pepper to taste
In a large frying pan, cook the pancetta over a high heat until the fat renders and it is crispy, set aside.
Cook the pasta as per the packet instructions in a very large pan, that’s the 8 litre one I use!
In another large pan, I use a 6 litre pan, melt the butter, add the flour and stir while bubbling for one minute.
Pour in the milk and use a whisk to combine well.
Continue whisking the milk until it just comes up to the boil and thickens.
Take off the heat and add 750g of cheese, stir well until melted.
Drain the pasta and return it to the enormous pan! Add the pancetta and rendered fat if you like.
Pour the cheese sauce over and stir well to combine.
Spoon the macaroni into your oven proof dishes, I tend to use foil dishes for in the freezer.
Sprinkle over the remaining cheese.
If freezing, allow to cool, cover with lids or foil and freeze.
If cooking, preheat the oven to 200 degrees Centigrade and pop into the oven for 20-25 minutes until the cheese is golden.