Pork Belly Mac and Cheese

Recipe courtesy Tim Larson, Cooper's Tavern, Madison, Wisconsin
Show: The Big Cheese Episode: Mac and Cheese
TOTAL TIME: 1 hr 5 min
Prep: 15 min
Inactive Prep: --
Cook: 50 min
YIELD: 1 large serving
LEVEL: Intermediate


  • 1 cup campanelle pasta
  • Salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup grated Cheddar
  • Pinch freshly ground nutmeg
  • Pinch white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sourdough breadcrumbs
      • 3-inch square pork belly
          PORTER GLAZE:
          • One 8-ounce bottle dark porter
          • 4 tablespoons dark sugar
          • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
          • 1 glass white wine
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          Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

          Partially cook the pasta for 4 to 5 minutes in boiling salted water. The pasta should be too firm to eat, as it will be further cooked in the oven. Put to one side.

          In a small saute pan, heat the heavy cream and reduce slightly. Then add the Cheddar, grated nutmeg and white pepper, and stir. When the cream and cheese mixture is bubbling, add the par-cooked pasta. As the pasta continues to cook, it will absorb some of the flavors of the mixture. Once the pasta is coated, pour into an ovenproof baking dish and sprinkle with the breadcrumbs. Put in a hot oven for 10 to 15 minutes.

          Place the pork belly on a baking tray and roast the oven for 10 to 15 minutes.

          Meanwhile, you can prepare the porter glaze. First, reduce the beer to burn off the alcohol and reduce the bitterness. Add the brown sugar and stir to stop burning. Mix the cornstarch with the white wine and add 2 tablespoons to thicken the mixture. (Mixing the cornstarch with white wine prevents the starch from making the glaze cloudy).

          When the mac and cheese is cooked, remove from the oven, place the roasted square of pork belly on top and spoon the hot porter glaze over the meat.

          This recipe was provided by a professional chef or restaurant and may have been scaled down from a bulk recipe. The Food Network Kitchens chefs have not tested this recipe, in the proportions indicated, and therefore, we cannot make any representation as to the results.

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