The perfect soul food to warm you up as the temperatures continue to drop
200g smoked streaky bacon, or pancetta, cut into 1.5cm pieces
40g butter, plus extra for greasing
40g plain flour
600ml full-fat milk
175g good Cheddar cheese, grated
175g Gruyère, Beaufort or Comté cheese, grated
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Few drops of Tabasco
Dribble of Worcestershire sauce
50g Parmesan, finely grated
25g fresh, white breadcrumbs
1. Preheat the oven to fan 180°C/350°F/gas mark 6. Fry the bacon in a heavy-bottomed pan over a medium heat until crisp, add a little olive oil if necessary.
Drain on kitchen paper and set aside.
2. Melt the butter in a saucepan over a low heat, stir in the flour and cook gently for 3-4 minutes. Add the milk and whisk until there are no lumps; simmer for 5-10 minutes, until smooth and thick.
3. Add the Cheddar and Gruyère and stir until melted, then add the pepper, tabasco and Worcestershire sauce.
4. Cook the macaroni in salted boiling water until al dente; drain in a colander.
5. Tip the macaroni into a well-buttered baking dish, add the bacon, then pour over the sauce and mix. Mix the Parmesan with the breadcrumbs and scatter on top.
6. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until bubbling, then serve.
LET’S EAT MEAT BY TOM PARKER BOWLES, PUBLISHED BY PAVILLION, IS AVAILABLE AT EASONS, €31.99.