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Whenever I fire up my smoker to make pulled pork I make sure to make plenty extra. Sure, I love a big ole heapin’ mound of pulled pork on a bun with some slaw and pickles, but pulled pork is also great in mac-and-cheese. It adds such a wonderful smokiness to the dish. I didn’t go overboard on the pork. You want enough so that you get a bit in each bite, but you don’t want to have so much that you think you’re eating a pulled pork casserole.
I think you could probably get away with making this same recipe for pulled pork mac-and-cheese using smoked brisket or chicken. Just make sure the meats are chopped small. And if you prefer more heat, don’t be afraid to add in some chopped seeded jalapenos or more hot sauce. Or jump up a level and use serrano or habanero peppers instead.
I highly recommend that you shred or grate your own cheese at home. Don’t buy the pre-shredded or pre-grated stuff. It has stuff added to it to keep it from sticking together. That ‘stuff’ affects how the cheese melts. Shred it yourself and use the good stuff.
Also try my roasted garlic and thyme mac-and-cheese.
Pulled Pork Mac-and-Cheese
- Preheat your oven to 400F.
- Spray a 9″ x 13″ baking dish with non-stick spray.
- Cook the pasta until al dente, normally 6 minutes for dried pasta. Rinse with cold water and rain.
- Melt the butter in large sauce pan over medium heat.
- Combine the flour and salt and slowly whisk into the melted butter. Keep whisking until the butter begins to bubble.
- While whisking, add the milk and cream. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to low. Keep whisking for 10 minutes. The mixture should be nice and creamy thick.
- Stir in the hot sauce.
- Add the cheese and stir until melted.
- Remove from heat and stir in the macaroni and pulled pork.
- Transfer the mixture to the baking dish and spread out evenly.
- Sprinkle with the crushed crackers and bake for 25 minutes or until hot and bubbly and the topping has turned golden.
Nutritional values are approximate.