Mac and cheese cheap vs steep

by Barry Lewis


50g thick bread, cut into small squares

2tbsp butter, plus a little extra melted

400g spiral or other short pasta

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1tsp English mustard powder

3tbsp plain flour

500ml milk

50g parmesan, grated

250g cheddar cheese, grated

It’s time for another cheap vs steep – where we compare the same recipe with budget and super expensive ingredients to see which one we prefer and if it’s really worth it. If you missed our first one of these, check out the chocolate brownie episode for some really interesting results!

Here’s the macaroni cheese recipe we used in the video whichever method you try… we’d recommend mixing it up, but it’s all about personal opinion and of course budget.

If you want the crunchy bread on top, first thing you’ll need to do is pre-heat an oven to 200c/180fan/gas6. Spread the bread chunks over a baking sheet, drizzle with some melted butter and season with salt and pepper if you wish. Bake for around 5 mins until it crisps up like croutons, then put to one side. Be careful not to burn them! Boil your pasta of choice to package instructions, then drain and keep to one side.

In a saucepan, melt the remaining butter, then add the garlic (if using) and 1 tsp of the English mustard powder, cook for 1 min, then stir in 3 tbsp plain flour. Cook for 1 min more, then gradually whisk in  all of the milk until you a smooth, lump-free sauce is produced, keep simmering it for 3-4 minutes but ensure you keep whisking it as you go. Remove from the heat, then stir in all of the grated cheddar cheese and half of the parmesan.

Stir the pasta into the cheesy sauce, seasoning if you wish. Dump the whole lot into a nice big baking dish, topping with the remaining cheese and the bread baked earlier. Bake for 20 minutes until crispy and golden! Best served warm, for the ultimate comfort food!