You know, it never occurred to me to ever post my mac ‘n’ cheese recipe on the blog before today. I’ve been making it for my family for so many years that it just seems like an every day dish…and it is an every day dish, but it’s oh so good! Since there are no boxed mac ‘n’ cheeses allowed in this house I’ve had to teach each kid how to make it our way.It’s pretty easy, though not as easy as the boxed stuff and it does make a bit of a mess but really who cares? It’s so cheesy and good that when the craving hits, I would dirty every pan in my house to make it.
Lucky for you, you only need one pan!
Now for the surprise…this mac ‘n’ cheese has a layer of spicy sweet pulled pork. Oh yeah.
I just happened to make slow cooker pulled pork yesterday and I had a tiny bit left over. Though I usually like my mac ‘n’ cheese straight up, I thought if I could combine it with pulled pork it could become something really special. Now here’s the thing. I never use a recipe for my pulled pork. I make it different every time throwing whatever suitable ingredients I have in the kitchen into the crock pot. There has been the odd time that the pulled pork wasn’t up to standards but mostly it turns out just fine. Here’s what I think I did for yesterday’s pulled pork.
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Mac ‘n’ Cheese
- FOR THE PULLED PORK
- 4lb/2kg boneless pork shoulder
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic; minced 2 tsp salt 1 tsp fresh ground pepper 1 diced onion 3 mild banana peppers; seeded and cut into rings 1 small green chile pepper; seeded and minced 1 pickled jalepeno; cut into rings 1 peach; peeled, pitted and diced. 1 cup apple cider vinegar 1/4 cup brown sugar 1/2 cup barbecue sauce (the one I used had a nice maple flavour)
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp fresh ground pepper
- 1 diced onion
- 3 mild banana peppers; seeded and cut into rings
- 1 small green chile pepper; seeded and minced
- 1 pickled jalapeno; cut into rings
- 1 peach; peeled, pitted and diced
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup barbecue sauce (the one I used had a nice maple flavour)
- FOR THE MAC N CHEESE
- 2 litres salted water
- 3 cups macaroni
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1 tbsp yellow mustard (or other as you like)
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- salt and pepper
- 2 cups coarsely grated old cheddar cheese
MethodFOR THE PULLED PORK
- Make a paste out of the oregano, cumin, salt, pepper, olive oil and rub it into the pork shoulder.
- Brown all sides in a hot frying pan then place in slow cooker.
- Add diced onion, peppers, and peach.
- Mix up the remaining ingredients (including garlic) and pour over top of the pork shoulder.
- Cook on high for at least six hours then remove pork from the slow cooker and shred inside a pan.
- Cover with foil and keep warm as you reduce the liquid in a separate pot.
- When you think the liquid has been reduced enough, pour over pulled pork and serve.
- Boil the water. Add macaroni and boil until it is al dente. Drain and leave in colander.
- Place pot back on stove and add the butter over low heat.
- When butter is fully melted scatter flour over and whisk until combined.
- Add milk and whisk until no chunks of flour remain. Whisk occasionally until sauce starts to thicken.
- Add mustard, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper.
- Add cheese and whisk until the cheese has melted into the sauce.
- Return pasta to cheese sauce and stir well.
To make the Mac ‘n’ Cheese Surprise, spread a small layer of mac ‘n’ cheese in the bottom of a tall ramekin. Add a layer of pulled pork, then another of mac ‘n’ cheese. Top with breadcrumbs and shredded old cheddar. Bake in 350 F oven for 30 minutes.