Super Mac and Bacon-Cheese Burger
Okay- maybe this isn't the best dish for all those out there who have so recently vowed to "eat healthier" in the new year. Fine. But in my defense . . . there are tomatoes in the recipe. Upon my weekly pre-shopping fridge inventory, I found an abundance of bacon. While the idea of bacon cheese burgers was a tempting dinner prospect, looking ahead at my rehearsal schedule for the week, I knew I would need to make a meal that would yield lots of leftovers. I put this together to bring together two of my favorite meals: mac and cheese and bacon cheese burgers. It seemed a natural fit. I hope you enjoy it.
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 6 slices bacon, diced
- 1 lb. elbow macaroni
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 4 Tbsp. butter, plus extra for greasing pan
- 1/4 c. flour
- 1 qt. whole milk
- 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1 lb. sharp orange cheddar cheese, grated
- 3 large beefsteak tomatoes, sliced crosswise into 12 disks
- 1/2 c. plain breadcrumbs
- salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 350˚ F. Lightly grease a 13x9" baking dish with butter.
Bring 4 qts. water to a boil over high heat to cook pasta according to package directions.
While water is boiling, heat olive oil in a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add ground beef and cook, breaking up with wooden spoon until browned. Season with salt and pepper and Worcestershire sauce. Remove from heat and spoon ground beef into a separate bowl. Return Dutch oven to heat and add chopped bacon. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the bacon is browned, but not yet crisp. With a slotted spoon, remove bacon from pot and drain on a paper-towel lined plate.
Return Dutch oven to medium heat and add chopped onion. Cook, stirring often, until the onions soften and begin to turn translucent, about 5 minutes. Turn heat slightly lower and add 4 Tbsp. butter. Let melt over medium-low heat and then add flour. Whisk flour, onions, and butter together for 1 minute. When a thick paste forms begin to add milk, 1 c. at a time, whisking constantly. Bring mixture to a simmer and allow to thicken enough to coat the back of a spoon. Add half of the grated cheese and mustard to mixture. Simmer over heat until cheese is melted. Season with salt and pepper and return cooked bacon to cheese mixture.
Meanwhile, boil macaroni according to package directions. When cooked al dente, drain water, and add pasta to cheese mixture. Stir to combine thoroughly.
Spread half of the macaroni and cheese mixture into the bottom of prepared baking dish. Sprinkle cooked ground beef on top of pasta. Spread remaining pasta on top of beef. Then arrange sliced tomatoes on top of macaroni layer. Sprinkle tomatoes with salt and pepper. Then top with an even layer of remaining grated cheese and sprinkle evenly with bread crumbs.
Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes until cheese becomes brown and bubbly. Remove from oven. Let sit 5 minutes before serving.
Eat up! Yum.