2 onions, thinly sliced
6 tbsp. olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste
1 lb. large elbow macaroni
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
PREHEAT OVEN TO 350F
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.