BBQ Pulled Pork Macaroni and Cheese

Cooking for a Crowd, Recipes, Worknight Dinners
BBQ pulled pork macaroni and cheese
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BBQ pulled pork macaroni and cheese

Photo: Leigh Loftus

Even though there are a lot of recipes that are great for cooking for one or cooking for two, pulled pork and barbecued ribs are not among those recipes. Whether you cook your pork on the grill, in a smoker or in the slow cooker (which I do, much to the horror of barbecue chefs everywhere) most recipes are going to call for a minimum three or four pound pork shoulder.

Because no one should have to exist without pulled pork, this means one thing: leftovers.Next time you feel the urge to channel your inner Kansas City grill master (even if it is by cheating with a slow cooker) you can easily repurpose any leftover pulled pork into another delicious medium that will probably disappear even faster than it did the first time around.

We’ve made this recipe twice: once with ribs and once with pulled pork. Either will work well, but if you have it in you to make pulled pork so that you can drown yourself in macaroni and cheese, well, we highly recommend it.

BBQ pulled pork macaroni and cheese

Photo: Leigh Loftus

BBQ Pulled Pork Macaroni and Cheese
Author: 
Recipe type: Cooking for a Crowd, Worknight Dinners
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
 
Ingredients
  • 1 pound smoked pork shoulder (about two cups of leftover pulled pork or spareribs)
  • 16 ounces dried pasta, preferably elbow shape
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 3½ cups whole milk
  • 1½ cups barbecue Sauce
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1½ cups grated Cheddar cheese
  • 1½ cups grated Monterey Jack cheese
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • ⅔ cups panko breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh chives (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cook the pasta in a large pot of well-salted water according to package directions until just barely al dente. Drain and set aside.
  2. If you are making pulled pork fresh, follow the directions on your favorite pulled pork recipe and reserve two cups of pulled pork to use here. If you are using leftover, set aside two cups of pulled pork.
  3. Melt butter in a large 8-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, reduce heat to low and cook, stirring frequently until translucent and soft. Whisk in flour and cook for 30 seconds. Whisk in milk slowly. Raise heat to medium high and whisk constantly until the mixture begins to thicken and bubble.
  4. Whisk in your favorite barbecue sauce (homemade or store bought) and ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Bring mixture to a low simmer, whisking constantly.
  5. Reduce the heat to low and use a wooden spoon to stir in all cheeses except the remaining ½ cup of Monterey Jack cheese until melted. Stir in the reserved pulled pork and pasta until well coated. Pour the mixture into an oven safe skillet or baking dish.
  6. In a small bowl, mix the panko, Pepper Jack, and olive oil. Sprinkle evenly over the mixture in the skillet.
  7. Bake until the topping is browned and the cheese sauce is bubbling through the topping and around the edges of the skillet, around 40-45 minutes. If the topping begins to brown too deeply, tent loosely with foil. Let the dish rest for at least 15 minutes. Sprinkle with chives and serve.
 

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