Now I know what you’re thinking. Homemade Mac and Cheese? That sounds like a lot of work? Why not just make it out of the box?
Listen ok. Homemade mac and cheese is infinitely more times better than any boxed mac and cheese. Even Annie’s. There I said it. Fight me.
Homemade mac and cheese is great. It tastes much better, and you can put all sorts of types of cheeses you want into it, for whatever desired flavor you want. You can even add bacon, or put bread crumbs on top and stick it in the oven. (I never do either because by the time I’ve made it I’m starving, and really don’t want to do anything extra).
So here we are. I call this my 4 cheese creamy homemade mac and cheese. No i don’t. I just call it mac and cheese, or whatever, I don’t really have a name for this ok. Here are the names others have suggested for it: “Thats too much cheese Nick Peters mac and cheese,” “You arteries and veins will be filled with cheese mac and cheese,” and “This is unnecessary mac and cheese”.
I really love to make this recipe. No seriously I do, but its really bad for me though so I rarely make it. It will incorporate about 4 different types of cheeses, but if you want to add more, definitely add more. The thing is, this is meant to be more for a base recipe for you to add (or even take out) what you want. Add Mozzarella. Add Parmesan. Take out the Gouda (you monster). Do whatever you think will taste the best. However, this is how I personally prefer it.
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk (you can switch to heavy cream if your old money)
2 cups elbow macaroni (literally the only thing it is used for lets be honest)
3/4 cup gouda block cheese, shredded
1 1/2 cup mild cheddar cheese, shredded
1 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup pepper-jack cheese, shredded
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons sour cream
You can use bag cheese, but I highly recommend shredding your own cheese for this recipe. Shredded cheese melts better and is much fresher than bag shredded cheese. Its also cheaper.
Also if you want to switch up how much milk your adding, remember the 2:2:1 rule (one would say the golden rule of cream sauce) – 2 tablespoons butter to 2 tablespoons flour to 1 cup of milk.
Also this recipe requires you to make a béchamel sauce, (and yes i had to look up how to spell that, i’m only human) which can be tough to make if you’ve never done so before. You might fail, you might lose some dignity while trying to make it. Don’t worry. Its possible and very easy once you get it down. But like maybe don’t make it with people around if its your first time. They might laugh at you. Happened to me…he says with a single tear in his eye.
Step 1 – Turn on the water and let it boil. Remember to put salt into the water before you start heating it up. Go through rest of the steps in this recipe while preparing the macaroni itself, or you can also do this before actually beginning to make the cheese sauce, if it’s easier.
Step 2 – Start making the roux for the béchamel sauce. In order to do this, melt butter in the pan.
Step 3 – Slowly add flour to butter, mix it and whisk it so it doesn’t combine too much together. You need to be very attentive when mixing this because you can possibly mess this up. If it does get combined, don’t panic, When you get to the next step, whisk the shit out of it as you are adding the milk to better combine it. However, if things don’t look right, seriously do not be afraid to re-start. Yes it’s a waste, but it’s better than continuing on. Alternate between using a spoon and a whisk for this step of the process.
Step 5 – Now once thats all joined together, slowly add milk to it, using a whisk to prevent further clumping. As stated previously, whisk it heavily to help with consistency of sauce.
Step 6 – In order to see when the béchamel sauce is correct, use your previous spoon and draw a line down the middle. If the sauce slowly parts with the spoon Moses in Red Sea style and then pushes back together, you’re good to go. I would suggest even watching a video of someone making a béchamel sauce, to get a better idea of how a completed one should look.
Step 7 – Add salt and pepper to the sauce.
Step 8 – After the sauce is good, its cheese time! GET HYPE! Start adding the shredded cheese (that I hope you shredded yourself *cough cough*). Doesn’t matter what order you go in, but add it a little at a time, i.e. a pinch of cheese and not the whole cup. I recommend starting with mild cheddar, bringing in sharp cheddar, and alternating, with some breaks in between where you add some gouda and some pepper-jack. The two types of cheddars help get a better yellow consistency, the gouda adds more flavors, and the pepper-jack is merely one of my favorite kind of cheese, which is funny because all kinds of cheeses are my favorite kinds of cheeses. Slowly add the shredded cheeses and whisk, whisk, whisk until it’s mixed up. Make sure to taste it, to check if you think its cheesy enough. If you think its not, you know what to do.
Step 9- Once the sauce is up to snuff, its time to combine that mac and that cheese. Pour the cheese sauce into sauce bowl that the mac is in. Pour it on a little at a time, so you can combine whats already in there. After pouring it all in, keep stirring a little, so everything is coated. At first it might look a tad soupy (this rarely happens, but it might depending on the portions of ingredients you used), but if you keep stirring, it combines the macaroni with the sauce and comes out very creamy.
step 10 – Add the sour cream to it. Trust me its great. I also really like sour cream, and like it makes it even creamier. Also put however much salt and pepper you want into it, or wait until you serve it.
Step 11 – Now serve. Put some shredded pepper-jack and some mild cheddar on top, and watch as it melts over the cheese.
Step 12 – Enjoy!
WOOT YOU MADE IT! NOW CELEBRATE. EAT A BOWL! EAT TWO BOWLS! REALIZE THAT THIS MAC AND CHEESE IS REALLY FILLING AND PUT THE REST IN TUPPERWARE! REALIZE THAT THIS MEANS YOU’LL BE HEATING UP LEFTOVER MAC AND CHEESE ALL WEEK! REALIZE THAT NOW YOU HAVE TO CLEAN A KAJILLION DISHES! WOOOOT!