We had the bolognese toastie a few days ago, and had a look at the Mac and Cheese toastie as part of that. Pasta then turned out to be a good match, which was unsurprising as it is currently doing the rounds as a must-have street food. So for the sake of completeness it seemed only right to properly test a mac and cheese toastie.
I should say up front that this isn’t a toastie we would ever really consider selling in the wild. It’s the signature dish of our London counterparts Grill My Cheese, and we don’t copy. As it is a bit of a classic down their way, we had a sneaking suspicion that it might be annoyingly good.
The Mac and Cheese Toastie
- Macaroni Cheese. My version (Edit: now featured below) contains macaroni, leeks, onions, bacon, white sauce and more cheese than is sensibly advisable. It also had Thermidor Sauce in, because who doesn’t randomly have that in the fridge most days.
- Extra Cheese
We were right, it was annoyingly good. The pasta works as a vehicle to sustain additional cheesiness within the dish as a whole. It no longer has a flavour, as it has been marinading in cheese sauce in the fridge for 24 hours. Instead it served simply as an extra volume of cheese, which could not otherwise have been sustained in the toastie without serious leakage. Most impressive. 8.5/10
The force would be strong with this one. People are drawn to mac and cheese just like they are to the filthy burger or anything with “smoked”, “pulled” or “candied bacon” in the title. We know it would sell. 9/10
Suitability as a Signature.
Not a chance. Using other people’s ideas just isn’t cricket. We have other ideas that score higher, so this one will be an ingredient at best. 0/10
If you include thermidor sauce then this is a dastardly piece of cooking, but without that it’s as hard as mac and cheese. Rated somewhere in the middle.
This is the perfect use for leftover Mac and Cheese. Utterly lovely. In fact, here’s my recipe for Mac and Cheese (serves 4), just so that no one has any excuses:
- Grate some cheese. Lots of cheese. Probably all the cheese. 250g should see you through.
- Put 250g of pasta in salted, boiling water and bring to the boil.
- Chop an onion and a leek, fry in a knob of butter, salt and pepper. Set aside. Test the grated cheese for taste.
- Measure out 1pt of milk, 75g of flour and 25g of butter, throw in a pan with salt, pepper and a generous sprinkle of parsley.
- Switch the milk mixture onto medium/high and stir continuously with a whisk. If you can juggle it, throw 4 rashers of bacon in the onion pan and let them sizzle while you keep stirring.
- The sauce will start to thicken. Start throwing in the cheese, keep stirring. Eat some cheese. Add more cheese. Don’t stop stirring.
- At the desired level of cheesiness, switch off the heat.
- Drain the pasta and return to the pan.
- Chop the bacon up a bit, return everything to the pasta pan and stir. Top with cheese. Stick it under the grill for 5-10 minutes until melted, bubbly and glorious. Pro tip: I transfer it to a lasagne dish. This creates a greater surface area to then cover with more cheese.