16 July, 2014


I love my mother-in-law's mac & cheese best of all. I've tried Martha Stewart's, I've tried Smitten Kitchen's, and sometimes we'd pack a couple boxes of Annie's around the edges of our suitcases when we visit family in the States (until I read this about dehydrated cheese powder). Still, nothing beats Ma Hopkins' recipe.

We've made this so many times we never follow a recipe, but I did make it yesterday and tried to note the proportions so I could post it here.

This recipe has been slightly adapted as the original was not gluten-free (though she's since adopted a strict gluten-free diet) and we've discovered we like it best with browned butter. Possibly my favourite thing about this is the generous amount of sauce, so if you do decide to bake it, it hasn't dried out by time you serve.

Mom's Browned Butter Mac & Cheese
serves 5

500g pasta of choice (we like this or this).

200g cheese, grated* 
1.5 cups (~375ml) organic whole milk
1/4 cup pastured butter (we like Kerrygold best)
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder or cornflour
1 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
generous sprinkle garlic or onion powder
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Optional: bread crumbs

Cook pasta as directed.

In saucepan melt butter over medium heat until liquid. Whisk constantly. Continue until butter separates and milk solids sink to the bottom and begin to brown. Whisk in arrowroot powder or cornflour. Add salt and garlic powder, stirring constantly. 

Slowly pour in milk, whisking until smooth. When milk is heated through, add cheese(s). Stir frequently to prevent burning and to incorporate cheese thoroughly.

When sauce is smooth, add to drained, al dente pasta. Stir until pasta is well coated. Transfer to casserole dish.

If desired, sprinkle with gluten-free bread crumbs (we like to make our own with old bread) and bake at 175ÂșC until golden. (Peter prefers this without the breadcrumbs on top and we are always eager to dig in, so usually omit the breadcrumbs and baking step).

Serve with roasted greens.

*we always mix it up-- last night we used a mild organic Welsh cheddar, sometimes we use edam, cheddar, and parmesan; Peter loves it with goat's cheese...you catch my drift. Make it your own


  1. I still remember how amazing this is. Have never been able to copy it. Once Simon is weaned... going to try again! (And GAG about the dehydrated cheese. But am I surprised? No.)

  2. It really is divine. . . And yes! try again!