Pork Belly Mac and Cheese

I've been blogging here for 13 years and pork belly mac and cheese was one of the first original recipes I ever made. It was so long ago that the pictures were pretty bad and the recipe was kind of a mess. I decided to celebrate 13 years that I would re-do this recipe and update it to my new style. Instead of making a crazy homemade BBQ sauce I doctored up a store bought version, and instead of shredding up the meat into the pasta, I served it with whole chunks on top. I streamed this recipe and you can watch it below!



The pork is ready for the oven in a pool of bbq sauce. After it cooks and cools I chopped it up. I added the sauce to the pasta, and then topped it with the pork. After it came out of the oven it was bubbly, brown, and absolutely amazing looking. The pork was so tender in spots but also chewy in others and was the perfect pairing for the creamy pasta. The gruyere and BBQ in the sauce adds an amazing flavor and the diced onions finishes it with a sharpness. So good! I can't believe it took me 13 years to make this again! It won't be 13 more that's for sure.

Pork Belly Mac and Cheese

  • Pork
  • 1 pound Pork Belly about 1 inch thick strips
  • 1 cup BBQ Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Mustard
  • 1/2 cup Cider Vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Hot Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Honey
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
  • Mac
  • 4 tablespoons Butter
  • 1 tablespoon Flour
  • 2 cup Milk
  • 6 oz Cheddar grated
  • 6 oz Mozzarella grated
  • 5 oz Gruyere grated
  • 1/2 pound Pasta / Noodles (elbows)
  • 1 cup Cauliflower
  • 1/4 cup Diced Red Onion
  • chives or more red onion for garnish

Instructions

  1. lay the pork belly on a pan and preheat the oven to 300. Mix the bbq sauce with the rest of the pork ingredients in a measuring cup. Pour over the belly so it goes about half way up. Flip the pork so it is coated on all sides. bake at 300 for 1 hour.
  2. Flip the pork and turn the heat to 375. Cook 20 minutes.
  3. flip again and cook another 20 to 30 minutes until the pork is tender but not falling apart and nicely browned. If the sauce is burning on any areas of the pan, you can add a little water or stir it around a bit. The idea is for the sauce to thicken and darken in color but not burn. Remove from heat and allow to cool fully.
  4. Bring a salted pot of water to a boil and drop in the pasta.
  5. Melt the butter in a sauce pan and add in the flour. Whisk to combine and cook on medium heat for 3 minutes until it is a shade or two darker. Add in the milk and whisk to combine. Bring to a simmer until it thickens slightly. Remove from heat.
  6. When the pasta has one minute left to cook, add the cauliflower to the water.
  7. Add in all the cheese and stir to combine. It will melt a bit but not fully. Add in the pasta (you can do this in a bowl if easier) and 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water. The cheese will continue to melt and a sauce will form.
  8. Preheat oven to 400.
  9. Separate the sauce from the pork belly and cut the pork into squares. Remove any excess fat that has solidified, but not too much!
  10. Add the sauce to the pasta along with the onion and stir to combine. Put the pasta into a baking dish, or individual sized baking dishes, and top evenly with the pork. Bake at 400 for about 30 minutes until the pasta is bubbling and the belly is slightly browning. Serve and top with more onion or some chives.