I’m a pretty prolific pinner and I follow about a thousand blogs, so a lot of the recipes that I find online just don’t get made. After all, there are also all the cookbooks and the magazines and everything I see on America’s Test Kitchen. A girl’s only got so much time, and I have to fit in my jeans. Every once in a while, though, I come across a recipe that I must. make. immediately. Like this crunchy peppermint bark from Shutterbean that I shared with you guys right before Christmas, or these peanut butter granola bars from Sprouted Kitchen, or these cranberry-orange breakfast buns from Smitten Kitchen (I’m pretty much forced to make everything that Deb makes immediately). Or this. Macaroni and cheese pie from i am a food blog.
I’ve been fairly obsessed with i am a food blog since I randomly discovered it (probably on Pinterest, though I don’t really remember) a couple of months ago. The photography and the layout of the blog are pretty much breathtaking, at least in my opinion…the way the header photo stretches all the way across the top of each post makes me swoon, and I love the little titles she puts on each header. And her recipes? I want to make pretty much all of them. Like these fifteen-minute doughnut holes that I pinned and forgot about until someone repinned them and then I couldn’t stop thinking about them until I made them that night. So anyway, check this blog out.
Okay. Back to macaroni and cheese pie. Macaroni and cheese pie = shepherd’s pie bottom, macaroni and cheese top. Okay, before my brother reads this and corrects me…it’s a cottage pie bottom with a macaroni and cheese top; shepherd’s pie: lamb, cottage pie: beef. It’s not super-easy to find ground lamb around here (though Publix does have it sometimes) but I had ground beef in my freezer so score. Cottage pie it is. This is not the recipe from i am a food blog. It’s my recipe, start to finish, because cottage pie is just one of those things I make instinctively, never looking at a recipe…though I did keep track of my measurements so that I could share them with you. I definitely owe the concept to her, though, and she got the idea from The Mac + Cheese Cookbook (<–affiliate link) by Allison Arevalo and Erin Wade. You guys know I love my wine (for cooking, anyway, since I don’t drink it), and in my opinion any good shepherd’s or cottage pie must have a decent dousing of red. If you’d rather leave it out…well, okay. Use beef stock instead.
But make this macaroni and cheese pie – please.
More mac & cheese: easy stovetop macaroni and cheese. As much as I love macaroni and cheese, I don’t make it nearly as much as I should, and when I do I rarely use a recipe. Maybe I should work on that.
Yield: 4 servings
This recipe is inspired by a recipe from the Mac & Cheese Cookbook.
25 minPrep Time:
30 minCook Time:
55 minTotal Time:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
- 1 Medium carrots (diced)
- 1/2 Small onion (diced)
- 1 stalk celery (diced)
- 1lb ground beef
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour (divided)
- 1/2 cup red wine-I use Cabernet Sauvignon (or use beef broth if you don't want to use the wine)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/2 cup frozen peas (optional)
- 6oz elbow macaroni (or other small pasta shape)
- 1 cup whole milk
- 4oz shredded cheese (whatever variety you like-I used 3 ounces of Gruyere and 1 ounce of cheddar)
- salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Prepare the meat: Preheat one tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the carrot, onion, and celery until they are soft. Add the ground beef and cook until no longer pink. Drain away any excess fat. Sprinkle one tablespoon of flour over the meat and stir it in. Pour over the red wine and cook until thickened. Add the tomato paste, peas, and salt and pepper to taste and stir to thoroughly combine. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Prepare the macaroni and cheese: Cook the pasta according to package instructions. While the pasta is cooking, make the sauce mornay. Melt the butter in the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a medium pan over medium heat. Whisk in the remaining two tablespoons of flour and cook for about a minute. Whisk the milk in gradually and cook until thickened, about two minutes. Gradually whisk in 3/4 of the cheese. Salt and pepper to taste. Drain the pasta and stir the cheese sauce and pasta together.
- Place the meat mixture in an 8-inch square baking dish, a 9-inch pie plate, or other appropriately sized baking dish (you could even use a cast iron skillet). Spread the macaroni and cheese over the top and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake for 25 minutes. Turn the oven to broil and broil the top until it reaches your desired brownness.
- Allow the dish to sit for about five minutes before serving.