Burgoo’s Macaroni & More
Holy smokes! It’s been a while since I’ve sat down and written a post! It wasn’t until I had to clear my camera’s SD card before my trip to London (that’s for another post) that I realized I haven’t written about Burgoo’s Macaroni & More experience!
If you live in Vancouver, BC, and you haven’t been to Burgoo, you are missing out. They are a small local chain with 4 locations on the Lower Mainland, serving up the best (at least to me) comfort food. We’re talking cheese (they have a few different kind) fondues for starters and sharing, The best Crab Bisque (among other amazing soups on their menu) to go with…the best Gooey Cheese Grillers (among other amazing sandwiches on their menu. And finally your classic Beef Bourguignon, Mac and Cheese and Mushroom Stroganoff. There is something for everyone on their menu.
So while Christmas Eve shopping (yes I’m that far behind on my blogging), I came across THE Burgoo Food for Comfort recipe book, and in it are the recipes for pretty much everything on their menu! I mean EVERYTHING. Needless to say, I picked the book up.
Fast forward a week or so and the first recipe I decided to tackle is the Macaroni & More recipe. Why “more”? well Burgoo says that it’s their “original Macaroni & Cheese enhanced with bacon, onions and thyme and baked with seasoned bread crumbs.” After making this Mac & Cheese, I have new found respect for making MC from scratch.
So here we go. The recipe serves 6 – 8, but really at the end of the night, I ended up with a 9 x 9 deep dish + 12 x 9 deep dish worth of Mac & Cheese.
The recipe calls for making the “More Mix” first and the more mix consist of (my alterations in brackets):
6-8 strips of bacon – diced into small pieces.
2 medium white onion – chopped
2-3 sprigs fresh thyme – leaves only
½ bunch fresh parsley – chopped (I just used my stash of dried parsley)
2 cups thawed frozen or fresh green peas (I used frozen)
1. In a large saute pan on medium-high heat, fry up the bacon until crisp. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside.
2. Add onions to the pan (with the bacon fat still in it) and brown. Remove from heat, and drain & reserve the fat.
3. Add to the onions the bacon, thyme, parsley, and peas and stir to combine. Set aside.
So here is what mine looked like.
Now onto the Mac & Cheese part.
4 tbsp butter
1 medium white onion – chopped
6 tbsp all purpose flour
3 cups whole milk (I replaced this with 2% just to reduce the “fat”)
2 cups of whipping cream
pinch of ground nutmeg (believe it or not, I couldn’t find my nutmeg so I had to skip it…only to find it a week later in my pantry)
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
4-5 cups of dry elbow macaroni
1.5 cups grated extra old white cheddar cheese
0.5 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1 recipe of the More Mix (see above)
2 cups panko bread crumbs or shredded dry white bread
2 garlic cloves, minced
0.5 bunch fresh parsley, chopped (I used dried here)
reserved bacon fat (from the More Mix recipe)
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Have ready a large ovenproof casserole dish or 6 – 8 individual sized baking dishes (Burgoo serves it in individual sized baking dishes).
2. Set a large pot of salted water on high heat.
3. Melt butter in a large sauce pan on medium heat. Add onions & cook until translucent. Stir in flour to make a smooth paste to create a roux. Slowly add milk and stir constantly to prevent clumps.
4. Blend in whipping cream, nutmeg (in my case no nutmeg), and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stiriing occasionally until the bechamel mixture thickens. Burgoo says it should take about 6-8 minutes.
5. While the sauce is thickening, hopefully your water’s boiling cause you want to toss the macaroni into the water and cook them according to the package direction. Once it’s al dente, drain and return it back into the empty pot (oh make sure you use a BIGGGGG pot)
6. Combine the Cheddar & Mozzarella cheeses.
7. In the pot where the pasta is, toss pasta with ½ of the mixed cheese and the “More Mix”. Then with help (I needed help with this considering how heavy my sauce pan was) have someone hold a mesh strainer over the pot and pour the bechamel sauce through the strainer and directly onto the pasta. (I find that you have to use a spatula to squish the sauce through the strainer cause the onion gets in the way). Discard the onions.
8. Stir well to combine pasta and sauce, then transfer the cheesy noodles into the baking dish.
9. In a small bowl, toss bread crumbs, garlic, parsley and bacon fat together, then sprinkle topping evenly over the macaroni.
10. Bake for 15 – 16 minutes until the topping is golden on top and its ready to serve.
Now mine looks nothing like the one in the picture and I realized… something is missing. In their picture, it looked nice and gooey. Mine looks crunchy. Then there it was… the left over ½ of the mixed cheeses.The direction only called for mixing half of the cheeses into the macaroni… it doesn’t say where the other half goes… my bet is that it goes on the very top, mixed with the bread crumbs before topping it on top to bake.
All in all though, it was still very delicious and I would make it again if I feel like a macaroni adventure, or have a potluck to go to. Or maybe I’ll just head to the nearest Burgoo.
If you love Burgoo though, you must go pick up their book!