Friday, February 12, 2010

Pulled Pork Macaroni and Cheese

The February / March issue of Fine Cooking has some great recipes. The following recipe is one that we couldn't pass up. Cheese is a staple in our house. On any given day we usually have at least four different types of cheese in our refrigerator for different recipes. So when I read the Pulled-Pork Macaroni and Cheese recipe in Fine Cooking I knew we had to give it a try.

Pulled Pork Macaroni and Cheese with Carmelized Onions and Four Cheeses
One 4-lb. smoked pork shoulder
12 oz. dried ridged pasta, preferably radiatore
Kosher salt
4 Tbs. (2 oz. ) unsalted butter
2 small yellow onions, chopped (1-1/2 cups)
1-1/8 oz. (1/4 cup) all-purpose flour
3-1/2 cups whole milk
1-1/2 cups dry white wine
2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh sage leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
4 oz. grated Gruyère (1-1/2 cups)
4 oz. grated Emmentaler (11/2 cups)
4 oz. grated fontina (1-1/2 cups)
2/3 cup panko
2 oz. finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (2 cups)
2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbs. thinly sliced fresh chives


Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 325°F.

Put the pork in a large heavy-duty roasting pan, cover with foil, and roast until the meat is falling off the bone, 5 to 6 hours. Cool until warm enough to handle, about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of well-salted water according to package directions until just barely al dente. Drain and set aside.

Shred the pork by hand, pulling it into 2-inch-long pieces. Discard the bone and any excess fat. Set aside 1 lb. of the pulled pork (about 4 cups) and save the rest for another use (see "Leftovers," below, for ideas).

Raise the oven temperature to 350°F. Melt the butter in a large 8-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions, reduce the heat to low, and cook, stirring frequently, until golden and very soft, about 20 minutes.

Whisk in the flour and cook for 30 seconds. Whisk in the milk in a slow, steady stream. Raise the heat to medium high and whisk constantly until the mixture begins to thicken and bubble, 3 to 5 minutes.

Whisk in the white wine, sage, and a 1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a low simmer, whisking constantly.

Reduce the heat to low and use a wooden spoon to stir in the Gruyère, Emmentaler, and fontina.

Stir in the reserved pork and pasta until well coated. Pour the mixture into a 12-inch cast-iron skillet.

In a small bowl, mix the panko, Parmigiano, and olive oil. Sprinkle evenly over the mixture in the skillet.

Bake until the topping is browned and the cheese sauce is bubbling through the topping and around the edges of the skillet, 40 to 45 minutes. (If the topping begins to brown too deeply, tent loosely with foil.) Let the macaroni and cheese rest for at least 15 minutes. Sprinkle with the chives and serve.

This is an amazing dish. It is rich in flavor and absolutely delicious!

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