Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese with Mushrooms
A modern take on a classic, this pulled pork mac n cheese combines sweet and tangy barbeque pork with cheesy macaroni. A medley of roasted mushrooms folds nicely into this dish adding a pleasant umami-rich surprise!
- 2–3 pounds Ontario pork shoulder
- Salt and pepper
- 1 cup root beer
- 1 cup barbecue sauce (your choice)
Mac N Cheese:
- 1 pound fresh mixed mushrooms (portabella, shiitake, oyster), coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cups rigatoni pasta (cooked until al dente)
- 3 cups milk
- ½ large onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- ½ tablespoon Italian herbs
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 3 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- Season all sides of pork with salt and pepper. Place pork in slow cooker with root beer and barbecue sauce. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Remove pork from slow cooker to drain liquid. Place back in slow cooker and using a fork or tongs, shred pork and remove excess fat. Add more barbecue sauce if you wish. Cover and return to low.
- Place chopped mushrooms on a large baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. In a 400°F oven, roast mushrooms for 15-20 minutes, flipping halfway through. Set aside.
- In a large pot, cook pasta until al dente. Set aside.
- In a large pot combine milk, onion, garlic and Italian herbs. Bring to a simmer for 10 minutes, allowing for flavors to steep. Pour through a strainer and return to pot.
- In another large saucepan melt butter and whisk in flour to make a roux. Slowly begin to whisk in seasoned milk; this will make a paste. Continue whisking until all milk has been added. Whisk over medium-low heat until sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. Add Dijon, salt and pepper.
- Transfer cooked pasta to a large casserole dish. Mix in roasted mushrooms, cheese and sauce.
- Top with approximately 3 cups of pulled pork (rest can be reserved).
- Bake at 350°F until cheese is completely melted, approximately 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro.
Cook time includes 6-8 hours in slow cooker.
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