When I think of the ultimate comfort food, I think of Aunt Sue's Macaroni and Cheese! All other Mac and Cheese's pale in comparison! No kidding! Just ask my kids and in law kids and husband and mom and friends and sister and brothers and anyone who has ever tasted it!
I hesitate to call it a side dish. We all usually make it the star of the meal... and go back for seconds! No guilt... Aunt Sue's Macaroni and Cheese is not something I make all the time. We save it for special family occasions!
I hope it will become a favorite around your table too!
I usually serve it in a great big ovenproof bowl, but you know I love individual servings of anything.
So, I recently made single serve portions
It's made from scratch and a little time consuming but it will be the best Mac and Cheese you have ever eaten, for sure!
AUNT SUE'S MACARONI AND CHEESE
1 lb box elbow macaroni noodles (I use an assortment of different short-cut pastas)
12 TBS butter, divided
1 large onion, finely diced
1/2 cup flour
2 tsp dry mustard or 2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 TBS Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
5 cups whole milk
1 lbs good extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated (or even a tad more if you are feeling cheezy!)
1 1/2 cups plain breadcrumbs
1/2 cup good extra sharp cheese, grated
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Heat water in a large stock pot. Cook pasta according to package directions and drain.
Heat 8 TBS butter in a large skillet or dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions. Cook until the onions are transparent, about 4 minutes. Add flour and combine with onions and butter. Let cook for about 4 minutes to get rid of the raw flour taste. Do not let the flour brown.
Add dry mustard. Slowly add milk in two halves. Whisk until thickens and then add the last half of milk, whisking until it thickens too.
Add salt and pepper. Add 1 1/2 lbs of cheddar cheese and stir until it melts. Take off heat.
Grease the inside of a large bowl or individual serving dishes with butter and set aside.
Add macaroni and cheese sauce back into the stock pot in batches. You want your macaroni to be "swimming" in the cheese sauce. If the sauce is too thick or the macaroni is not wet enough add up to another cup of milk and incorporate well.
Scoop out the macaroni and cheese and put in the prepared bowl or dishes.
Wipe out the large skillet and add the remaining 4 TBS of butter. Melt. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the breadcrumbs and mix well.
Top the macaroni and cheese with the buttered breadcrumbs and bake for 30-40 minutes until the mac and cheese is bubbly and the breadcrumbs are golden brown. You can also sprinkle 1/2 cup of cheese over the top of the buttered breadcrumbs and then bake, but we like it without the extra cheese!
To Make Ahead:
I make the macaroni and the cheese sauce ahead and keep them separate in resealable bag in the refrigerator for up to two days.
When you are ready to cook the Mac and Cheese...
Mix macaroni and cheese sauce together, top it with the buttered breadcrumbs and cook as directed.