Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Annette Joseph
Hands-on Time
45 Mins
Total Time
1 Hour 35 Mins
Makes 4 to 6 servings

Hugh Acheson's Southern Mac and Cheese combines 2-year-old aged Cheddar cheese with Gruyere cheese, diced bacon, and  leeks. The results are a deliciously baked Southern classic that's finished with a drizzle of heavy cream and toasted breadcrumbs.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 375°. Cook bacon in a skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, 6 to 8 minutes or until crisp; remove bacon, and drain on paper towels. Discard drippings.

Step 2

Cook leeks in 4-qt. boiling water in a large Dutch oven 5 minutes. Remove leeks with a slotted spoon, reserving boiling water in Dutch oven. Plunge leeks into ice water to stop the cooking process; drain.

Step 3

Add pasta to boiling water, and cook 10 minutes or until al dente. Drain.

Step 4

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, and whisk in flour until smooth; cook, whisking constantly, 2 minutes or until golden brown. Slowly whisk in milk, and cook, whisking constantly, 3 minutes or until thickened. Whisk in dry mustard, next 3 ingredients, and 1/2 cup Cheddar cheese, stirring until cheese is melted. Remove from heat. Season with salt to taste.

Step 5

Gently stir together pasta, cheese sauce, half each of cooked bacon and leeks, and egg yolk. Stir in Gruyère cheese and remaining 1/2 cup Cheddar cheese. Spoon pasta mixture into a buttered 8-inch cast-iron skillet, and sprinkle with remaining bacon and leeks. Drizzle with cream; sprinkle with breadcrumbs.

Step 6

Bake at 375° for 35 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.

Empire State South, Atlanta, Georgia

Ratings & Reviews

TheFisherFamily's Review

February 19, 2013

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August 15, 2013

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January 25, 2012

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May 12, 2014