Thursday, October 6, 2016

Pulled Pork Mac & Cheese with Caramelized Onions

So what do you do when you have a ton of leftover pulled pork? Well, how 'bout some pulled pork mac and cheese? You can't go wrong with macaroni in a Gruyere, Monterey Jack, Sharp Cheddar and caramelized onions béchamel sauce that's topped with fresh buttered bread crumbs and baked until lightly golden and bubbly. 

Caramelized Onions:
2 onions, thinly sliced 
6 tbsp. olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste

1 lb. large elbow macaroni

Bechamel Sauce:
7 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
8 tbsp. butter
3/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. ancho chili powder or paprika

6 oz. Gruyere cheese
1 lb. sharp cheddar cheese
1 lb. Monterey Jack cheese

Bread Crumb Topping:
3 slices white bread
2 tbsp. butter, melted (30 seconds in the microwave will do the trick)

2 cups pulled pork (here's my electric smoker pulled pork recipe):

Minced scallions for garnish



1. Heat 6 tbsp. oil in a saute pan over high heat. Add the onion slices, reduce heat to medium or medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until caramelized, about 30 minutes. Turn off heat and set aside.

2. Cook the macaroni according to package instructions (usually 10-12 minutes) until al dente. Pour the macaroni into a colander and rinse with cool water; set aside. 

3. Shred the 3 cheeses through a box grater & set aside. The consensus amongst mac and cheese cooks and aficionados is that you should never use pre-shredded cheese when making your own. I will not beg to differ.

4. Place 3 slices of white bread into a food processor & process for several seconds until crumbly; pour the bread crumbs into a bowl and stir in 2 tbsp. melted butter.

5. Butter a 9" x 12" casserole dish generously on all sides.

6. FOR THE BÉCHAMEL: Melt 1 stick of butter in a saute pan. Add 3/4 cups of flour and stir constantly with a wire whisk for a few minutes until well combined. Add 7 cups whole milk and 1 cup of heavy cream and stir constantly with the wire whisk until the sauce mixture has thickened.

7. Add the shredded cheeses to the béchamel and season with black pepper and ancho chili powder or paprika.

8. Stir in the caramelized onion and pulled pork. 

9. Pour the mac mixture into the buttered casserole dish and top with the buttered bread crumbs. 

10. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the mixture is hot and bubbly.

11. Plate and garnish with finely minced scallions, if desired. 

Caramelized onion.


Sharp Cheddar.

Monterey Jack.

Grate/shred the cheese with a box grater or shredder.

Cook the macaroni according to package directions until al dente.

Pour the mac into a colander and rinse with cool tap water.

Place the bread slices into a food processor and pulse for several seconds until they become crumbly.

Stir the melted butter into the bread crumbs.

Butter all sides of the baking dish.

Heat the milk and cream together in a medium pot until warmed through (do not boil).

In the meantime, melt 1 stick (8 tbsp.) butter in a saute pan. 

Add the flour to the melted butter and stir constantly with a wire whisk for 10-15 seconds to incorporate.

Add the warm milk-cream mixture to the roux and stir constantly until the sauce has thickened.

Stir in the shredded cheese.

Season with black pepper and Ancho chili powder or paprika.

Stir in the caramelized onion and pulled pork.

Pour the mac and cheese mixture into the baking pan, top with the buttered bread crumbs, and bake for 35-40 minutes until hot and bubbly.


Plate and garnish with a sprinkling of minced green onion.

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