- A handful of coarse sea salt
- 500g macaroni
- 3 large leeks (about 500g), sliced into rounds
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 200g bacon lardons
- 300ml double/heavy cream
- 300g crème fraîche/sour cream
- 100g grated mild Cheddar
- 250g Reblochon AOC, half finely diced and half thinly sliced
- 50g fresh breadcrumbs
- Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
How to make it
Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Add the coarse sea salt, then let the water return to a rolling boil. Add the macaroni, stir well and cook according to the package instructions until very tender. Stir periodically to prevent the macaroni from sticking together. When cooked, drain, rinse well under running water and let drip dry in a colander.
Preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F) Gas 4.
Arrange the leeks in a single layer on a baking sheet. Sprinkle over 2 tablespoons of the oil and toss to coat lightly. Roast in the oven for about 15 minutes until tender and just charred. Remove the leeks from the oven and transfer to a very large bowl. Season lightly with salt and set aside.
Heat the remaining oil in a sauté pan. Add the bacon and cook over medium–high heat for 5–10 minutes until well browned. Drain away the excess fat and add to the leeks in the bowl.
Preheat the grill/broiler to medium hot.
Combine the cream and crème fraîche/sour cream in a large saucepan and bring just to the boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat, add the grated cheese and diced Reblochon and stir well to melt.
Put the cooked macaroni in the bowl with the leeks. Pour over the hot cream sauce and mix well. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
Transfer the macaroni mixture to a baking dish and spread evenly. Arrange the remaining Reblochon slices on top, finish with a good grinding of black pepper and sprinkle the breadcrumbs evenly over the top. Grill/broil for 5–10 minutes until the top is crunchy and golden brown. Serve immediately.
Recipe courtesy of:
Mac ‘n’ cheese by Laura Washburn
Photography by Steve Painter
Published by Ryland Peters & Small