We’ve mined deep into our knowledge of really good cheese and struck gold—an unforgettably dynamic duo of sumptuous cheeses that creates the most memorable mac & cheese.
Gooey. Sharp. Satisfying. This luxe mac & cheese recipe will easily be the star of your next meal, or steal the show as a side dish.
Upping the Ante: Alfred le Fermier
Most mac & cheese recipes call for cheddar—and for good reason: its sharp flavour combined with its distinct meltability make it a great choice for these types of recipes.
But we wanted to take this recipe to the next level. Enter Alfred le Fermier, an organic, raw-milk cheese with a supple texture and delicious complexity.
It’s the perfect cheese to provide the backbone of this recipe, melting into the sauce in the same way cheddar would, but adding a deep savoury depth of flavour to this sensational mac & cheese.
Going For It: Gruyere
We chose Gruyere to round out the recipe, providing a lovely nuttiness and that trademark Alpine “twang”—a perfect counterpoint to Alfred le Fermier.
Great for cooking, particularly with starchy foods like pasta, this classic Alpine cheese is folded into the mac & cheese just before it goes into the oven.
So Simply, So Fancy
This recipe is super easy. The only real effort is having the patience to stand at the stove and whisk that butter-flour-milk combo until it’s thick and silky smooth. But it’s SO worth the effort and you’ll have made a bechamel, one of the classic “mother sauces” of French cuisine. Way to go, Fancy Pants!
The Ultimate Side Dish
While this recipe certainly has what it takes to be the star of a meal, it works well as a side for so many more! With summer almost upon us, this mac & cheese would be the perfect partner to anything coming off the grill: BBQ chicken and ribs, or grilled vegetables for a start.
Pair with a cold local craft brew or a crisp Riesling from Alsace.
24-KARAT GOLD MAC & CHEESE
Makes: 3-4 servings as a main dish (this recipe can be easily doubled)
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 35-45 minutes
For the macaroni
- 225 g elbow macaroni
- 2 tsp butter
- ½ cup panko bread crumbs
For the cheese sauce
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1½ cups whole milk
- 300 g Alfred La Fermier, grated
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ¼ tsp mustard powder
- pinch garlic powder
- 150 g Gruyere, grated
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil and cook macaroni for 2 minutes less than the directions on the box (slightly less than al dente). Drain, toss with 2 tsp of butter, and set aside.
- In a large saucepan, melt 2 tsp of butter over medium-high (do not not brown the butter). Once melted, add flour and whisk to incorporate. Keep cooking, stirring constantly with a whisk, about 1-2 minutes, or until raw flour smell is gone. Add milk in a steady stream while continuing to whisk constantly. Continue to cook and whisk until the sauce has thickened and no clumps appear.
- Reduce heat to low and add grated Alfred La Fermier in increments. Continue to whisk after adding each time, until a smooth cheese sauce forms. Don't let it boil. Whisk in mustard powder and garlic powder.
- Combine cheese sauce with macaroni and mix well. Fold Gruyere into the macaroni mix until evenly combined.
- Grease a suitably sized baking dish and add macaroni mixture.
- Season panko with salt and pepper and sprinkle over the entire surface.
- Bake for 30-45 minutes, until browned and bubbling.
- Taste the mac & cheese mixture to test for seasoning before adding to the baking dish.
- Check in on the mac & cheese often to be sure it's not overcooked. you’ll know it's ready when the edges are bubbling and browning!
- Make the panko extra crispy by finishing the mac & cheese under the broiler for a couple of minutes