I am a huge fan of mac n cheese, and an even bigger fan of mac n cheese with BBQ. The creamy, cheesy deliciousness paired with pan fried, slow smoked ribs is unbelievably good. So good, that if I had to choose one meal that i had to eat for the rest of my life, this would be a hard one to top. Seriously, its that good.
Below is the recipe, and detailed pictures at each step. I know that making a roux can be intimidating, but if you work slowly and add the ingredients little by little. Youll be golden. The first time i made this, i premeasured all of the ingredients and dumped all of the flour in at once. BIG mistake. Take your time, continuously stir.
- 8oz Cellentani Noodles
- 1/4 cup salted butter
- 2 cups finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 3 cups whole milk
- 2-1/2 Tbsp flour
- 1/2 Tbsp black pepper
- Bread crumbs for topping
- 1/2 slab fully cooked baby back ribs, de-boned
**below is a double recipe
Set out all of your ingredients that you need for the roux.
Heat a skillet to medium, and melt slices of salted stick butter.
Add the flour 1 Tbsp at a time, stirring it in completely each time you add. THIS STEP IS VERY IMPORTANT. If you add the flour too quickly it will clump!
This is how the roux should look after the flour is added. No clumps.
Slowly add in the milk, little by little, stirring continuously. As you add the milk, if its really cold it will curdle as you add it right in the beginning. Dont worry though, if it starts to clump, stop adding the milk and stir out as much of the clumping as you can. The clumps will also work themselves out as you continue to heat and add the milk. I usually add about 1/2 cup of milk to start, then stir it in completely. Then once youve got a smooth mixture, you can slowly add the rest. Continuously stirring, of course.
Add the black pepper, still stirring continuously. Heat for a minute or two until the roux looks nice and smooth. You want it to reduce down a little.
Add the cheese, and allow it to melt completely. Stirring gently, to ensure that it doesnt stick to the pan.
This is the consistency you should have in your roux. The cheese should be completely melted. Lower the heat, to med/low and let it thicken up for about 5-10 minutes.
It should have the consistency of runny cake batter.
Start your pasta during the roux making stage if you are able to multi-task. But you can also start it after the cheese is added. Cook about 11-12 minutes, al dente. Not too soft.
Add the noodles to the roux in the skillet and stir it in completely. Add bread crumbs to the top. It may seem a little runny, but it will thicken after the oven stage.
Bake @ 350°F for about 40-45 minutes. Until the cheese sauce begins to bubble and the bread crumbs brown.
This is the consistency you want. It will seem a bit runny when you first serve it, but it thickens up perfectly as it cools.
Take the de-boned 1/2 slab of ribs, and shred it. Toss it into a frying pan with your favorite sauce, and pan fry on med/high heat. You want to brown it a bit to give it some crunch.
*I typically use 50:50 sweet baby rays and open pit. It has a nice balance of sweet and tangy that goes well with the mac.
The sauce and meat should start to stick together a bit when its reduced down and browned to the right amount.
Top the mac and cheese with the ribs either before you put it in the oven, or as you serve it. Either works fine.