The Hairy Bikers’ lobster mac ’n’ cheese
- December 2021
- Serves 4-6
- Hands-on time 25 min, plus infusing. Oven time 30-35 min.
Transform mac ‘n’ cheese into a luxurious dish with the addition of lobster. This easy recipe from the Hairy Bikers uses lobster tails.
Recipe from The Hairy Bikers’ Everyday Winners by Si King and Dave Myers (Seven Dials Publishing £22). Image: Andrew Hayes-Watkins. Food styling: Mima Sinclair. Styling: Tamzin Ferdinando.
Craving an umami fix? Check out our marmite macaroni cheese.
- 28.4g (15.4g saturated)
- 80.4g (9.2g sugars)
- 500g macaroni
For the infused milk
- 4 sustainable lobster tails in shells or 600g large sustainable prawns, shell on
- 1 tbsp olive oil, plus a splash
- 100ml dry white wine
- 750ml whole milk
- 2 bay leaves
- Onion slice (about 2cm thick)
- 1 mace blade or a small pinch ground mace
For the sauce
- 50g unsalted butter
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 50g bacon lardons
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 thyme sprig
- 50g plain flour
- 1 tsp mustard powder
- ¼ tsp cayenne
- 100g cheddar, grated
- 100g gruyère, grated
- 50g fresh breadcrumbs
- A few basil leaves, shredded
- Bring a large pan of water to the boil and salt it generously. Add the macaroni and cook it according to the packet instructions until just shy of al dente (still with some firmness). Drain, toss with a tiny splash of olive oil and set aside.
- Separate the lobster flesh from the shells or peel the prawns and reserve the shells. Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the lobster tails or prawns. Cook them quickly on each side, then remove and set aside. Put the shells in the same pan and heat over a high heat, shaking the pan until they have taken on some colour. With the heat on high, pour in the white wine and allow it to bubble fiercely. Pour in the milk and add the bay leaves, onion and mace. Heat slowly until the milk is just below boiling point, then remove the pan from the heat. Leave to infuse until it’s at room temperature, then strain the liquid into a jug and set aside.
- Heat the oven to 180°C fan/ gas 6. To make the sauce, heat the butter in a large pan. Add the onion and bacon and fry until the onion is lightly caramelised and the bacon is crisp. Add the garlic and thyme, then stir in the flour, mustard and cayenne. Stir until you have a roux (it will be lumpy because of the onion and bacon), then gradually add the infused milk mixture, stirring in between each addition, until it’s all incorporated. Add 75g of each of the cheeses and stir over a low heat until the cheese has melted.
- Mix the sauce with the macaroni and stir in the lobster meat or prawns. Pour into a large, shallow ovenproof dish. Mix the breadcrumbs with the remaining cheese and the basil. Sprinkle this over the macaroni. Bake in the oven for 30- 35 minutes until the mac ’n’ cheese is piping hot, browned and bubbling, then serve.
Easy swaps: Swap the lobster tails/prawns for sustainable Scottish langoustines. You’ll need 10-15 (use 3-4 shells for the infused milk).
Assemble the dish up to 1 day ahead. Cook for 5-10 minutes longer to heat through from cold.
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