Gruyere Mac & Cheese
with Smoked Pork Belly
Gruyere Mac & Cheese Ingredients:
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
3 Tbsp All-Purpose flour
3 cups milk
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1 1/2 cup Gruyere cheese, grated you could also use Gouda, Sharpe Cheddar.
Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste (if fresh you don’t need a lot)
Smoked Pork Belly, diced (recipe follows)
1 pound macaroni noodles, cooked to al dente
Heat the butter or oil in a sauce pan over medium heat. When the butter melts and starts to foam, add the flour. Whisk until the flour smells nutty, about 3-5 minutes. Add the milk about 1/4-cup at a time, stirring constantly and allowing the milk to thicken before adding more. Allow the mixture to simmer until it will coat the back of a spoon, about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Season well to taste with a pinch of nutmeg, kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper.
Meanwhile, spread diced pork belly in a medium sauté pan. Place over medium heat and allow to crisp on one side before stirring. Fully crisp the pork and place on a paper towel-lined plate.
Once the sauce has been seasoned, carefully fold the cheeses into the sauce. Do not over-stir. Toss with cooked pasta and top with crispy smoked pork belly.
Smoked Pork Belly Ingredients:
1 pound pork belly, skin or rind removed
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2cup bourbon divided
2 Tbsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp freshly ground black pepper
2 cups woodchip mesquite, or hickory
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup bourbon
Place the pork belly in a large zip-lock bag. Add brown sugar, maple syrup, ¼ cup bourbon, 2 tablespoons kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Through the bag, massage the mixture into the pork. Refrigerate overnight. Pat dry the pork belly and remove any excess marinade. Let air dry for 30 minutes at room temperature.
Cover the wood chips with water and bourbon and let soak, for at least 2 hour. Heat a smoker over medium-high heat. Drain the wood chips and pour the woodchips in the bottom of the smoker. Allow the chips to smoke (you will start to see white wisps of smoke). Place the drip tray and the cooking grate in the smoker. Allow the smoker tray to get hot, about 1 minute. Once hot, place the pork on the cooking grate and close the smoker. Reduce the heat to medium low. Be sure to smoke the pork belly until it reaches an internal temperature of 140°F, (it will take about 20-30 minutes for it to reach the internal temperature.)
Remove the lid from the smoker and allow the smoke to dissipate. Remove the pork from the smoker. Cover and set aside to rest at least 20 minutes.