- 1 1⁄2 bags of Three Jerks I Can’t Believe it’s Not Hamburger Jerky chopped into bite sized pieces, please reserve 1⁄2 bag to top mac & cheese
- 1 pound dry pasta (macaroni, shells, penne, whatever, its all pasta)
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 2 cups grated sharp Cheddar cheese
- 1 cup grated Gruyere cheese
- 1 cup plus 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup milk
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 1/2 cups panko (Japanese) bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 1 tablespoon butter
Ingredients for Bechamel Sauce
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- 3 cups hot whole milk
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan or an oven-safe skillet. Whisk in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the paste cooks and bubbles a bit, you don't want to brown this cause it wont taste as good, its gonna be about 2 minutes. Add the hot milk, continuing to stir as the sauce thickens. Bring the sauce to a boil. Add the nutmeg, salt, and pepper, to taste. Reduce the heat, and cook, stirring for 2 to 3 minutes more. Remove from the heat.
While making the Bechamel go ahead and cook your pasta in salted boiling water until its AL DENTE (not fully cooked, it will finish cooking in the oven) and preheat your oven to 400F.
Time to make food magic. Over low heat, stir your mustard and cayenne into the Bechamel. SLOWLY add the Cheddar, stirring until it’s melted in. Be patient, don't add it all at once or it will take even longer to melt and you will be mad. Then add the Gruyere the same way you added the cheddar. Then add the Parmesan, you guessed it, slowly just like the other two cheeses. Don’t forget to stop cooking the pasta, cause you probably already overcooked it.
Once all your cheese is melty, add the cup of milk and cream.
Here comes the fun - throw the pasta and a big handful of the Hamburger Filet Mignon Jerky (saving some to top the dish at the end) into your cheesy Bechamel heaven, stir it up so everything is coated evenly.
In a small bowl mix 1 tablespoons of melted butter with the bread crumbs and parsley. Stir it up good so its all covered in fat (YUM!).
Sprinkle the skillet holding the Mac & Cheese with the breadcrumb mix and then add more cheese. Take that remaining 1/2 cup of parmesan and sprinkle that on top of the breadcrumbs.
Throw this amazing thing you have created into the now hot oven for 20-25 minutes, basically until its all golden brown and bubbling like hot lava. Pull it out of the oven (with an oven mitt, unless you never want to use your hands again) and top this with the remaining Hamburger Filet Mignon Jerky.
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