May is national BBQ month and what better way to celebrate it than with a bowl of pulled pork mac and cheese. Pulled pork mac is the epitome of southern food. There is a large subset of people who when you mention our favorite cheesy dish, they only picture the side you find at a barbeque restaurant. The kind that is smothered in mile high piles of pulled pork and tons of sweet sauce. After finding myself with a surplus of pulled pork, it was time to see what I could do with it.
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Extra sharp cheddar cheese is the opener in the cheese sauce. We know that it provides a beautiful opening to the bowl. I tend toward the generic version at my local Kroger, but both Tillamook and Cabot make great options. Old Croc is another favorite around here.
Parmesan serves as a closer. Parmesan is the one place I’m willing to break my rule of no pre-grated cheese. If I’m making alfredo, absolutely go for fresh grated, but as an addition sometimes it’s okay to cut corners.
For extra richness, I added a few ounces of cream cheese. Cream cheese works magic in mac and cheese. It is not a cheese you choose for flavor, but for the texture benefits you get from its addition.
A tablespoon of BBQ sauce In the sauce is a nice touch to bring the dish together. I grabbed Sweet & Zesty from Famous Dave’s, but any kind of BBQ sauce would work great for topping your pulled pork mac and cheese.
Pulled Pork Mac and CheeseCourse: Sides, EntreeCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy
The perfect marriage of bbq pulled pork and cheesy pasta.
16 oz Pasta
3 tbsp Butter
3 tbsp Flour
3 cups Whole Milk
1 tablespoon BBQ Sauce
1 cup grated Extra Sharp Cheddar
1 cup grated Parmesan
- Prepare the pasta according to package directions.
- Prepare the sauce
- Pre heat your milk in the microwave for 45 seconds – just enough to take the chill out of it.
- Melt butter in a sauce pan over medium heat and let it heat until it becomes foamy.
- Mix in flour. Cook it for a minute while stirring constantly
- Slowly add warmed milk to the butter mixture 1/4 cup at a time. Whisk it continually until combined.
- Once all of the milk is added, cook for a few minutes while whisking it. Do not let it boil.
You will feel the sauce start to thicken. It’s ready for cheese when you rub a small amount between your fingers and it feels silky.
- Remove from heat and stir in your cheese until it’s melted and mixed into the sauce. Add about a tablespoon of BBQ sauce to the cheese mixture.
- Once the cheese is incorporated, use a cooked noodle to taste your sauce. If it doesn’t taste cheesy enough try adding a little more salt to bring out the flavor. You can add more BBQ sauce here if you need to.
- Combine the pasta and sauce. Top with pulled pork and a drizzle of more BBQ sauce.