Last year, a restaurant dedicated solely to macaroni and cheese opened nearby. Shawn and I had heard about it months in advance and were so excited to try it. Once it opened, we were almost instantly there with the kids. The premise is genius — take a classic comfort food and make it a bunch of different ways. Serve it in skillets. The restaurant has really taken off and is even expanding into a larger space.
Pretty awesome, right?
Well, eating there has made me rethink mac and cheese. I’ve always been of the creamy cheddar mac and cheese persuasion. But it can be so much more — you can change up the cheeses, do more than one, add toppings, mix-ins and drizzles. And you can bake it (or not). There is so much room for adaptation with basic macaroni and cheese.
This one? I was mulling over it after having a pulled pork macaroni and cheese at that mac and cheese place. So when the Wisconsin Cheese Board contacted me about participating in their annual 30 Days 30 Ways with Macaroni and Cheese, I immediately sent this idea over. They loved it as much as I did. Head over there to read my blog post on my mac and cheese philosophy.
Then come back, so you can read a little more about this plate of heaven. It’s okay … I’ll wait.
Now, about this recipe … It’s like a BBQ joint on high.
The silky cheese sauce is laced with a familiar smokiness usually reserved for fall-off-the-bone-tender treats from the smoker. You can thank the Apple Smoked Wisconsin Cheddar and the smoky brisket on top (I used leftover Smoky Slow Cooker Beef Brisket). But it doesn’t stop there … it’s drizzled with sweet honey barbecue sauce and sprinkled with sharp Wisconsin blue cheese.
When you dig in with your fork, you have to stab a bit of the creamy macaroni and a piece of the brisket — preferably one that is laced with barbecue and blue cheese. It’s a total explosion of flavor … kind of like when they shoot off all the confetti at the end of the Super Bowl. (Psst – This would be perfect to make for Super Bowl Sunday.) If you like mac and cheese and brisket, you will adore this. Swear.
Be sure to check out all the mac and cheese posts at 30 Days 30 Ways with Macaroni and Cheese. Heaven!
Disclosure: I was compensated for the ingredients that went into developing this recipe. All opinions are my own.