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Macaroni cheese in 40 minutes

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Who doesn't love macaroni cheese? The queen of comfort food is a true people-pleaser, but debate reigns over how to make it best.

Do you use white sauce or custard, eggs or evaporated milk? Is gruyere cheese a nice touch and what about a dash mustard? The discussion is endless.

Here Lotte Duncan, Cordon Bleu protégé and owner of Oxford-based deli Lotte's Kitchen, shares her recipe for the perfect macaroni cheese. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 225g macaroni
  • 40g butter
  • 4 tbsp plain flour
  • 570ml semi-skimmed milk
  • A pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • 1 tsp English mustard
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 200g mature Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 50g Gruyère cheese, grated
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tomatoes, sliced, to garnish
  • Crusty bread and green salad, to serve

Method

Preheat the oven to 200°C / fan oven 180°C/ gas mark 6. AGA 4/3/2dr Grid shelf on the floor of the roasting oven.

Cook the macaroni according to the packet instructions and then drain it well.

Melt the butter in a medium, non-stick saucepan, remove from the heat and stir in the flour, mixing well. Now gradually add the milk, stirring all the time until it is completely incorporated. If it’s a bit lumpy, get a whisk to it!

Return the pan to the heat and bring the sauce to the boil for one minute over a medium heat, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon, until it thickens.

Remove the pan from the heat again and stir in the nutmeg, mustards, Worcestershire sauce and seasoning. Go easy on the salt though as there is plenty in the cheese. Stir the cheeses into the sauce, reserving one tablespoon of the Cheddar.

Stir the cooked macaroni into the sauce to coat it thoroughly. Spoon the macaroni cheese into a 1.2 litre/2 pint ovenproof dish. Place the sliced tomatoes on top and sprinkle with the reserved Cheddar cheese. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes until golden and bubbling.

Serve with crusty bread and a green salad.

Lotte’s irresistible macaroni cheese recipe has been taken from recipes prepared for their special Food Network UK ‘Made With Love’ programme. For more of Lotte’s recipes visit foodnetwork.co.uk or catch her on-air on Food Network UK; Freeview channel 49, Sky 262 and Freesat 405

Does Lotte's recipe for Macaroni cheese tickle your tastebuds or have you got your own favourite method for the classic dish? Let us know on Twitter or in the comments section below

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