MACARONI WITH CHEESE AND BACON

Yields12 Servings
 50 g unsalted butter, plus 1 tsp extra
 1 large leek finely sliced
 50 g plain flour
 1 tsp English mustard powder
 500 ml milk
 150 g mature cheddar cheese, grated
 225 g macaroni
 Oil for greasing
 36 rashers of streaky bacon
 25 g dried breadcrumbs
1

Preheat the oven to 220C/Gas 7; melt 1 teaspoon butter in a frying pan, add the leek, cover and cook gently for 15 minutes until softened; uncover and cook for a further 3-4 minutes to dry out any liquid

2

Melt 50g butter in a saucepan, stir in the flour to make a paste and cook gently, stirring for 2 minutes, then add the mustard powder and gradually stir in the milk, a little at a time, until smooth; cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring continuously until smooth and thick; remove from the heat, add most of the cheese reserving 25g for the topping, the leeks and plenty of black pepper; season to taste and set aside

3

Cook the macaroni in a large pan of boiling water for 7 minutes until al dente; drain well and return to the pan; add the cheese leek sauce and mix to combine

4

Lightly grease a 12-hole muffin tin with oil; line each hole with 3 rashers of streaky bacon to cover the base and sides, then fill with the macaroni cheese mixture; combine the remaining cheese with the breadcrumbs and some black pepper and sprinkle on top of the macaroni cheese; bake for 20 minutes

5

Leave to cool in the tin for at least 15 minutes before serving

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