This is one of those dishes that kinda sounded odd to me. Intriguing...but I wasn't sure what to expect. I mean...this would require me to mess with an old favorite. After all, there is that saying...if it ain't broke, don't fix it. And people can be picky about their Mac 'N Cheese.
I'm so glad I messed with it.
Why would I even be thinking about doing this, you ask? Well...it all started when I received a jar of Uncle Gary's Gourmet Candied Jalapeno BBQ Sauce that I order from Uncle Gary's Peppers and Pepper Jelly
The minute I got it, I had to do the spoon test. OMG...I was hooked instantly. This stuff is amazing! I'm really picky about BBQ sauce. Not that I'm an expert or anything...but I know what I like. It has the perfect sweet BBQ tang, hint of smoke and a little jalapeno after-burn. And the consistency is perfect! (I can't stand runny BBQ sauce.)
Of course I had it with dinner that night. In an amazing BBQ sammich....
that consisted of fork tender chunks of chuck steak, grilled mushrooms and onions with melted smoked Gouda, the Candied Jalapeno BBQ Sauce of course, all on a toasted bun.
I ate two of them.
And used lots and lots of napkins.
Back to my point....Why would I mess with an American classic like Mac 'N Cheese? Because I wanted to try the sauce in something out of the ordinary. I mean, I knew it would be great on the standard ribs or chicken. And now I know that it's amazing in Mac 'N Cheese!!
BBQ Beef Mac 'N Cheese
5 oz elbow macaroni, cooked according to package instructions, drained
1 cup cooked beef, shredded or cubed
3 TB butter
3 TB flour
1/2 cup heavy cream (or milk)
1/2 cup beef broth
1 cup Uncle Gary's Gourmet Candied Jalapeno BBQ Sauce (or your favorite)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (or to taste)
1 1/2 cups shredded pepper jack cheese (or to taste)
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 cup shredded smoked Gouda
1/2 cup cracker crumbs
Preheat the oven to 375' F. Spray an 8" round or square oven safe dish with cooking spray.
Pour the cooked pasta into the dish. Toss in the cooked beef and set aside.
In a sauce pan, melt the butter over a medium low heat. Whisk in the flour and continue whisking for a few minutes. Don't let the flour get too brown. Slowly whisk in the heavy cream, beef broth and BBQ sauce. Continue to whisk until the sauce thickens. Don't let this happen too quickly...you want to cook out the flour taste. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Add the cheddar and pepper jack cheeses and stir until melted
Pour the sauce over the pasta beef mixture and stir until combined.
Top with the smoked Gouda and cracker crumbs. Place the dish on a baking sheet...just in case it bubbles over.
Bake for about 30 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown on top.
Allow to cool for a few minutes than serve.
If you happen to have any leftover, by all means....heat it up and have it for breakfast
BTW...I'm out of Candied Jalapeno BBQ Sauce now. It lasted a whole 3 days. I guess that's what happens when you eat it every night for dinner.
I have more on order. And this time I'm buying more than just one jar.
P.S. Uncle Gary's Peppers and Pepper Jelly is having a sale this weekend (7/13/13 & 7/14/13) Just sayin...