Remember, Down South, Mac 'n' Cheese is a vegetable
Cuisine: Southern and all-American
Serves: 4
Best-ever Mac 'n' Cheese
  • 3 tbsps. butter
  • 3 tbsps. flour
  • 3 cups milk (yes, this is a lot of milk for a roux, but remember it all bakes uncovered so the roux will thicken quite a bit)
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 lbs. (about 12 cups) grated sharp cheddar (we use "Seriously sharp" Cabot)
  • 1 lb. elbow macaroni
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • cayenne
  • Other ingredients as you wish: ham, hot dog pieces, sausage, etc.
  1. The baseline fundamental for a perfect macaroni and cheese is the roux. You gotta have roux!! Second to that is lots of cheese. Tons of cheese. Meaning Two pounds of extra sharp cheddar.
  2. Boil the macaroni in salted water till it's al dente - about 7 minutes. Drain, and set aside in a large bowl.
  3. In a large skillet, melt the butter on low heat and whisk in the flour, stirring continuously for about 3 mins. until the roux browns. Add the milk, bay leaves, and a dash of salt, turn the heat up to medium and simmer gently for about 10 mins. until the sauce thickens a bit. Remove the bay leaves. Lower the heat to sim and add half of the grated cheese, stirring until it's fully melted.
  4. Pour all the sauce into the bowl of macaroni and stir. Spoon about half of the mac and cheese into a large, buttered (or oiled) casserole. Take most of the remaining grated cheddar and spread it over. Now spoon out the rest of the mac and cheese into the casserole, and sprinkle the remaining grated cheddar on top. Bake at 350, uncovered for 30 mins. If you want, crisp up the top of the mac and cheese under the broiler for about 2 mins.
  5. ☞ Variations/add ons: add crumbled sausage, diced ham, Little Smokey sausages, or chopped hot dogs.
Recipe by Journeys Over a Hot Stove at