Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese | frites & fries
     

[OR Something to Make for Your New Years Hangover, You Party Animal]

I’ve always wanted to try the slow cooker method for mac and cheese — I usually just make it on the stove or bake it. The other thing that I wanted to do was to use the rendered bacon fat that I’ve been collecting (hello there, bacon brittle). While I appreciate it when people throw stuff in like vegetables and/or bacon for, uh, nutrition, I like to my mac and cheese smooth, creamy. Rendered bacon fat is the way to go for some extra bacon flavor while keepin’ things smooth (texturally speaking).

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After making it, I felt kind of mehhhhh about it. I can’t stand soft, overcooked noodles which is a real risk of cooking it in a slow cooker. Next time, I plan on cooking the sauce in the slow cooker but throw in the pasta just before serving.

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Note: You could probably replace the butter in this recipe with the bacon fat. I didn’t want to use all the bacon fat I had on hand to try this…but let me know how extra bacon-y it gets if you do!

For 10 servings (adapted from Taste of Home):

  • 1 package (16 oz.) elbow macaroni
  • 3 tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1/4 c. rendered bacon fat, melted
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 c. shredded cheddar cheese*
  • 1 12 oz. can evaporated 2% milk
  • 1 10.75 oz. can condensed cheddar cheese soup, undiluted
  • 1 c. whole milk
  • 1 c. shredded Italian four cheese blend (a mix of Asiago, Romano and Parmesan)

Cook macaroni according to package directions [Note: I prepared it slightly below al dente thinking the noodles wouldn’t be mushy coming out of the slow cooker]; drain. Place in a 5-qt. slow cooker; add butter and bacon fat. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, 3 cups of cheese — I used mild cheddar —, evaporated milk, soup and milk. Pour over macaroni mixture and stir to combine. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours. Sprinkle with remaining cheese (mixed cheese blend). Cover and cook 15 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.

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*I shredded my own cheddar cheese because I was all “It’ll make a great picture!” Dumb. Really, really dumb. I don’t think you want to see grater blood.

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