Crisp maple bacon, creamy smoked cheese, and whiskey make this Gentleman's Jack bacon mac and cheese the ultimate macaroni and cheese recipe.
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The weekend is here, y'all! That means it's time to go to a happy hour and treat yo self.
OR it means have happy hour at home and treat yourself to this crazy good Gentleman's Jack bacon mac and cheese.
There's always a bottle of Jack in the house. Seriously. My husband has a bottle of Gentleman's Jack in the house basically all the time. His favorite drink is a jack and coke, and he loves when I make Jack Daniel's sauce for chicken wings. What is it about the stuff that makes things taste so good?
Oh yeah, it's whiskey! Haha!
We had some bourbon mac and cheese at a restaurant not too long ago, and he's been talking about it since, so I decided to hook him up at home. Macaroni and cheese is so easy to make in general, it's basically the biggest of comfort foods (besides fried chicken, I mean), and I love switching up classics from time to time. Why not do it with two of Brian's favorite things: bacon and Jack?
I think those might be most guys' favorite things, actually.
And of course, mac and cheese.
The thing I love about a good stove top mac and cheese is that it's easy and fast! It's a base that can be added upon without mucking up the classic, like adding booze and bacon, or broccoli, or ham.
I used maple-glazed bacon in this recipe because I love how it kind of compliments the sweet tone of the Jack in the cheese sauce, but any bacon will do. Just cook it to your preferred crispness and chop it up, then add it in to the finished jack bacon mac and cheese.
I also suggest experimenting with cheeses. So many of us get stuck in a mild cheddar rut! I found a smoked sharp cheddar at my local family owned grocer (I swear, they always have the best stuff!) that went so well with this, along with some Gruyere I had left over from making french onion soup. And maybe some Colby Jack....
Okay, I can't completely get away from the usual suspects. Colby Jack is my mac and cheese number one.
Y'all got a cheese that must be in macaroni and cheese? I can't be the only one.
Looking for more great comfort food recipes? Here ya go:
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- 16 oz elbow pasta
- 4 tbsp butter
- ¼ cup flour
- 3 tbsp Gentleman's Jack Whiskey
- 3 cups milk
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp mustard powder
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- 2 tsp worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup smoked sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 cup Colby Jack cheese, shredded
- ¼ cup gruyere cheese, shredded
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 8 slices maple bacon, cooked and chopped to bite sized pieces
- Bring salted water to a boil in a large pot. Once it comes to a boil as you're making the sauce, add pasta and cook according to package directions.
- While water is coming to a boil, melt butter in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Add flour, and whisk to combine. Add in Gentleman's Jack and whisk into roux.
- Whisk in 1 cup milk until combined with roux. Add remaining milk, whisking vigorously to ensure no lumps.
- Add in spices and worcestershire sauce, stir in well. Turn heat to low, add cheeses; whisk until cheeses melt and sauce is smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour sauce over pasta, stir until pasta is completely coated in sauce. Fold in chopped bacon, then check for seasoning and season with more . Serve immediately.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 570
Eden Westbrook is the recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind Sweet Tea and Thyme. A classically trained chef, Eden has inspired home cooks into the kitchen with cultural comfort foods, easy family-friendly eats and sweets, and glorious spreads for date night and entertaining since 2015.