|100g||Butter – plus extra for greasing|
|1 Heaped tsp||Dijon mustard|
|1.2 Litres||Whole milk|
|5 tbsp||Double cream|
|400g||Grated mature Cheddar|
|20 turns||Black peppermill|
|8 Rasps||Freshly grated nutmeg|
|100g||Smoked bacon lardons or smoked pancetta cubes|
|50g||Parmesan cheese, grated|
|1 tsp (per 600ml water)||Salt|
Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6 and grease a 35x20cm/14x8in ovenproof dish. Melt the butter in a large saucepan, stir in the plain flour and cook for a minute.
Add the mustard, then take the pan off the heat and gradually whisk in the milk and cream.
Add the bay leaf, put the pan back on the heat and cook the sauce, stirring constantly, until it boils and is thick and bubbling.
Take the pan off the heat again, remove the bay leaf and add the Cheddar, then keep stirring until the cheese has melted. Season with black pepper and nutmeg.
Boil the macaroni in a large pan of salted boiling water (with a ratio of 1 teaspoon of salt per 600ml of water) for about 10 minutes or until al dente, then drain well.
Fry the bacon in a frying pan until crisp. Stir into the macaroni cheese and pour the mixture into the ovenproof dish.
Mix the breadcrumbs with the Parmesan and scatter them over the top. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden and bubbling. Serve immediately.