Whisky mac & cheese with bacon

  • Preparation time: 25 minutes
  • Cooking time: 30 minutes
  • Total time: 55 minutes

Serves: 4 - 6


300g essential Waitrose Macaroni
50g butter
50g plain flour
100ml whisky
568ml whole milk
2 tsp English mustard
200g pack Waitrose 1 Mountain Comté AOP cheese, rind removed, grated
80g pack essential Waitrose Grated Parmigiano Reggiano
3 rashers Waitrose 1 Free Range Air Dried Beech Smoked Streaky Bacon
1 tbsp olive oil
50g fresh breadcrumbs
2 sprigs rosemary, leaves only, finely chopped


1 . Preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Add the macaroni, bring back to the boil and cook for 5 minutes. Drain well, keeping 4 tbsp of the water.

2 . Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large pan over a medium heat. Stir in the flour to make a thick paste. Remove from the heat and slowly add half of the whisky, stirring continuously until incorporated. Return to a low heat and do the same with all the milk. Bring to a very gentle simmer and cook stirring continuously for 5 minutes, until thick and smooth.

3 . Remove from the heat, add the mustard, Comté, 3/4 of the Parmigiano Reggiano and season. Mix with the macaroni and reserved cooking water, then spoon into a large ovenproof dish. Sprinkle over the remaining Parmigiano Reggiano. Bake for 20 minutes or until bubbling and golden.

4 . While it cooks, chop the bacon very finely. Warm a frying pan over a high heat. Add half of the oil and the bacon then cook for 5 minutes, until golden. Add the remaining whisky and light with a match to flambé if you wish. Alternatively cook until it has evaporated completely and the bacon is glazed and crispy.

5 . Add the breadcrumbs and rosemary to the frying pan together with the remaining oil. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring often, until golden and crisp. Sprinkle over the mac & cheese just before serving. Delicious with a dressed green salad.