Did you say you needed something to bring to Thanksgiving? I got you! This Gruyere Bacon Macaroni and cheese is a winning dish. You should take this everywhere with you. I'm dropping a life tip here. I'm not saying you have to pick it up, but, you know...
I truly believe this dish is nothing short of amazing. I'm not saying it's healthy, but it's definitely comfort food. Let me tell you that you will be the life of the party if you show up with this. The heavy cream and cheese alone will make you a star. The bacon will put you over the edge. I encourage you to test this out and definitely eat some (or alot?) in the process.
Now. I feel the need to also give you a tip about storage and reheating this dish. Because I failed at it and you should not do what I did. If you happen to make this for a Friendsgiving event and you happen to store it in the refrigerator until said event, and then you happen to heat it up in the oven, make sure you watch that dish like a hawk! It can go from ooey gooey macaroni and cheese to almost bare noodles in a pan of oil. I was not amused. But! I at least have these beautiful pictures to prove that before the unfortunate reheating event, this was a seriously creamy success. I guess this just means I need to make this one more time to redeem myself...
Gruyere Bacon Macaroni & Cheese
slightly adapted from Damn Delicious
makes 4-6 servings
- 8 ounces elbow macaroni
- 6 slices bacon
- 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 1 1/2 cups shredded Gruyere cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- dash paprika
1) Preheat oven to 415 degrees F. Place the bacon strips on a baking sheet. Bake bacon until crisp, anywhere from 12-18 minutes, depending upon the type of bacon being used. Remove from the baking sheet and place on a plate lined with paper towels. Pat with a paper towel to remove excess grease. Chop bacon into small pieces and set aside.
2) Meanwhile, in a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the elbow macaroni according to the instructions. Drain well and set aside.
3) In a large saucepan over medium heat, add the heavy cream, garlic, and thyme. Bring the mixture to a simmer and allow to reduce by half. This could take about 5-10 minutes. Stir the cream mixture continually to prevent a skin from forming.
4) Stir in the cheeses, a handful at a time, until they melt and the cream mixture is smooth again.
5) Season the mixture with salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, and paprika.
6) Stir in the pasta and bacon until combined.
7) Serve immediately, garnished with bacon if desired.