Recently, Alex and I went to Edinburgh to film some comedians for work. Here we are working very, very hard.
Whilst we were there, she mentioned that apparently in Scotland you can get a mac ‘n’ cheese pie. I bloody love mac ‘n’ cheese, as the many recipes for it on this website shows, and the idea of taking something that’s already delicious and putting it in a pie was too good to resist. Everything takes better in a pie. Pizza. Meat and vegetables. Cheese and onion. Ice-cream, probably. How good would mac ‘n’ cheese taste?
We were, in the end, far too busy in our two days there to go and find one, so when I got back home I decided to try and make one. This is what I came up with.
It’s not the most elegant of pies – mainly because I was so exhausted after making a mac ‘n’ cheese AND pastry that I threw it together whilst muttering swear words under my breath, which now I think of it does feel very Scottish – but it got the job done. We ate it over a few nights with either salad or vegetables to go with it so that our hearts didn’t literally explode once we finished eating. You could serve a quarter of a pie with no veg, though, and I reckon that’d be a filling meal.
- 1 red onion, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, diced
- 250g of macaroni
- 2 tablespoons of flour
- 300ml of milk
- 200g of grated extra-strong cheddar
- 225g of plain flour
- 100g of butter, diced
- A pinch of salt
- 1 egg, beaten
- An extra handful of cheese, to serve
- Sift the flour into a bowl, add the butter, and rub in with the very tips of your fingers until it looks like breadcrumbs
- Stir in the salt, then add a few tablespoons of water. Mix to a firm dough
- Knead briefly on a floured surface until the dough is smooth, then wrap it in cling film and pop it in the fridge
- Pre-heat the oven to 200C/Gas Mark 6
- Cook the macaroni according to the packet instructions
- Fry the onion and garlic in a little oil until soft
- Add the flour and stir until it’s nicely mixed in. Then add the milk a splash at a time, making sure you stir well between each addition. When fully combined you’ll have a thick sauce. Taste it and add any salt and pepper you think it needs
- Add the cheese and stir until melted. Add a splash of milk to loosen if you feel it needs it. Then stir in the drained macaroni
- Roll out the pastry and use it to line your pie dish. Add the macaroni cheese filling and sprinkle over another handful of cheese. Add the pastry lid, press the edges together, then brush with the egg
- Bake for 30 minutes. Leave to stand for 5 minutes before trying to cut into it and serve it
- Feel free to just buy shortcrusty pastry from the supermarket - no judgement here!