Smoked Jowl Bacon and Chipotle Mac and Cheese

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Meat Mopper
Original poster
Jul 5, 2012
Mountain City, GA.
This is one of the dishes that won the Scarbelly Mac and Cheese Throwdown.

Unfortunately, I didn't write down measurements or anything, so I'll give you the steps I took, and the ingredients, but you will need to use your own judgement on the quantity of each.

First you need to get your smoked ingredients ready. For this dish I smoked Jowl Bacon, Chipotles, and Cheeses.

For the jowl bacon, I just used a simple dry-cure recipe I found on the forums and hickory smoked it for as long as an AMNPS lasts lit on both end (5-6 hours). A regular smoked bacon would work from the store if you don't have the time to smoke your own (but where's the fun in that?).

For the Chipotles, I removed the seeds and stems from some red-ripe jalapeños and cold-smoked them with pecan wood pellets for 3 full times on the AMNPS lit on one end (33 hours total @ 11 hours each time). The peppers were darker and very smokey, but still a little moist, so I then left them in the sun until they were leathery.

For the cheese, I purchased a pound each of Sharp Cheddar, Colby and Monterey Jack cheeses, sliced them into smaller chunks, and cold smoked them over oak pellets for 5 hours with the AMZPS.

To make the mac and cheese I started by making a béchamel sauce - butter and flour to make a roux, add milk, whisk and bring to a boil. Then I shredded the cheese and stirred the cheese into the béchamel. This is the base for the cheese sauce. I took some of the chipotles and put them in a blender with some of the béchamel and pureed the mixture. I then added it to the cheese sauce. I adjusted the seasoning with salt and pepper until it tasted good (remembering that the bacon is salty and will add to the saltiness).

I cooked a pound of elbow macaroni but left it a little under done because I will finish it in the oven.

In a sautee pan I cooked chopped shallots (onions will work), garlic and bunch of the chopped jowl bacon and some diced chipotles…I cooked it until the bacon was crispy and the shallots were caramelized.

In a large bowl I mixed the macaroni, 3/4ths of the bacon/shallot/chipotle mix (reserving some for the top), and a bunch of the cheese sauce (seriously, when you think you've added enough, add more…the pasta will soak up a lot of the sauce and there is nothing is worse than dry mac and REALLY load it up with the sauce.)

Once my pasta, bacon mix and cheese sauce is combined, I poured it into a casserole dish and topped it with the rest of the bacon mixture that I reserved, a little bit of extra shredded cheese and some crushed up rosemary croutons that I had left over in my pantry.

I baked it for about 30 minutes at 350*…the top was a little darker than the picture makes it look.

I hope this helps, and sorry for the lack of detailed measurements. Feel free to ask questions if you got em'.

Thanks Man!

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