I’m a huge fan of mac n’ cheese. You all should know that by now. I’ve made everything from a Cajun mac n’ cheese, a nacho style mac and cheese, a mac and cheese loaded with bacon and jalapenos, a buffalo chicken mac and cheese, and even a mac cheese loaded with beer. You get the idea. I love me some mac and cheese. So it wasn’t too long ago where my colleague had mentioned when travelling he was eating at some restaurant and noticed they had a roast beef mac and cheese. I’ve never heard of such a thing, but thought it would be awesome in flavor, and that’s when I decided to make a roast beef and giardiniera mac and cheese. Let’s just say it was awesome.
Let’s get started.
- 1/2 pound penne past, cooked under al dente
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp all purpose flour
- 2 cups of milk
- 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
- 4 oz giardiniera, oil strained
- 1/2 pound deli style roast beef, chopped
- 1 tsp canola oil
Cook your pasta, drain, and set it to the side.
Start by adding a pot on medium heat. Add in the butter, and let it come to a bubble. During this time, heat a skillet on medium heat and add in the canola oil. Toss in the roast beef into the skillet, and cook until slightly crisp. This is for some texture.
Once the butter has come to a bubble, add in the flour, and begin stirring with a wooden spoon for a minute or two to cook out the flour flavor. Once lightly browned, slowly pour in the milk, and turn up the heat just slightly. Use a whisk to break up the cooked flour, then continue stirring with a wooden spoon. The sauce will begin to thicken. That is the awesome part. As soon as it comes to a simmer and the sauce has thickened, reduce the heat, and slowly add in the cheese. Do this in batches until you have a nice creamy sauce.
Add in the slightly crispy roast beef, along with the giardiniera. Give it a good stir and pour into a casserole dish.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Place the casserole dish into the oven and cook, uncovered for 20 minutes, or until nice and bubbly.
The end result was total comfort food. It was everything you love in a mac and cheese but then loaded with the roast beef, and ever so spicy and vinegary giardiniera. My wife, who did not realize there was giardiniera stated she loved those vegetables and little did she know that it was giardiniera as she would never eat that on a sandwich. Win! Hope you enjoy!