Bourbon and Bacon Mac and Cheese
Bourbon and Bacon Mac and Cheese is mac and cheese grown-up style. The bacon and bourbon gives mac and cheese a wonderful earthly, salty flavor that is impossible to resist.
- 10 slices bacon, chopped
- 1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 cups milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/3 cup bourbon
- 2 cups shredded gouda cheese
- 2 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 12 ounces dry macaroni, cooked according to package directions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook bacon in a 10-inch cast iron skillet until crisp. Remove it with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Drain off all but 2 tablespoons of bacon grease. Add onion to skillet and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.
Stir in flour and cook for 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in milk. Stir in salt, pepper, thyme, nutmeg, cayenne pepper, and bourbon.
Simmer for about 3 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Reduce heat to low and gradually whisk in Gouda cheese and 2 cups of cheddar cheese.
Stir in cooked pasta and half of bacon. Sprinkle remaining bacon and cheddar cheese on top.Bake for 15 to 18 minutes.
It's not important to precisely measure the macaroni. You want to use about 12 ounces which is about 3/4 of a 16-ounce box.
For best flavor, be sure to salt the water you cook the pasta in.