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Macaroni and cheese with black pudding

By September 04, 2020 , ,

Summer is over and it's time for comfort food dishes such as this. As you know I do enjoy a pasta bake style dish and am a huge fan of black pudding.  This is roughly based on a recipe from Irish chef Anna Haugh that I saw earlier this year and I liked the sound of it. I decided to tweak her recipe a bit to add more dimension in flavour. The original was just a straightforward mac and cheese with a black pudding base, but I've added onion and garlic for some sweetness and used dijon in the cheese sauce which brings out the cheese flavour more as well as some creme fraiche for a bit more richness. For the topping I added parmesan to the breadcrumbs which were made from leftover home made foccacia. 

70g butter
70g plain flour
200ml milk
Salt and pepper to taste
Tablespoon of dijon mustard
20g creme fraiche
200g macaroni - cooked
100g cheddar or strong cheese, grated
2 cloves garlic finely sliced
1 onion finely chopped
100g black pudding cut into small rough cubes
Oil for frying
50g parmesan grated
50g breadcrumbs (I used roughly whizzed up leftover focaccia for this recipe)
Salt and pepper to season

Pre-heat the oven to 180c (fan), 190c (normal)

If cooking on the BBQ set it up for indirect cooking at 180c, throw in some apple wood chips about 15 minutes before it is ready to go on, wait for the thick white smoke to die down
If cooking on the BBQ ensure your baking dish is suitable for use or use a cast iron pan
In a pan fry off the garlic and onions in the oil on a low heat until soft and glossy, add the black pudding and cook for a further 5 minutes remove from the pan and place to one side

Next make the roux sauce, in a saucepan melt the butter and then add the flour stirring all the time
Cook the flour out for at least 5 minutes on a low heat
Take the pan off the heat and add the milk gradually, still stirring, and then put back on the heat stirring until it thickens
Add the Dijon and the cheeses, stir to incorporate
The sauce will thicken considerably after adding the cheese, if it is too thick then add some more milk to loosen it slightly
Add the creme fraiche and stir through, season with the salt and pepper
Stir in the macaroni and mix through, ensuring the pasta is well coated

Place the black pudding mix in the bottom of your baking or cast iron dish

Pour over the macaroni cheese mix
Top with the breadcrumbs and parmesan
Place in the oven or BBQ and cook for 25 minutes, until the top is nice and golden

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