This recipe is perfect for leftover pork or you can of course make it a point to prepare this special barbecue flavored macaroni and cheese dish. Talk about taking things to the next level.
Macaroni and cheese have always been a comfort food that we like going back to whenever we’re feeling happy, sad, or simply craving for it. Have you ever wondered how you can zhuzh things up with it to make it even more exciting? We have. This recipe is a delicious combination of two of our favorite comfort foods, BBQ pulled pork mac and cheese. It’s not all about macaroni and cheese here but the kick of the barbecue sauce from the pulled pork makes this comfort food literally twice as good.
Reading the words “pulled pork” is already mouthwatering. When you think of pulled pork dishes, you mind most likely will wander off to imagining pulled pork sliders or pulled pork sandwiches drizzled with smoky barbecue sauce. We can already picture that beautiful plate of pulled pork goodness before our eyes.
Macaroni and cheese on the other hand have been a crowd favorite ever since it debuted itself to the world. How great it is to have perfectly cooked short pasta coated in a delicious cheese sauce? The beauty of macaroni and cheese is that you focus on a method of making the cheese sauce but you can add any kind of cheese you want to put in it. Macaroni and cheese are also mouthwatering and a dear comfort food that we’d take any day.
So why not combine these two great dishes and turn them into one awesome plate?
Which pork cuts are best for pulled pork?
Pulled pork can relatively be made with any kind of fatty pork roast cut that is high in fat and connective tissue. However, the most ideal cut for pulled pork is the entire pork shoulder.
Pork should is the whole front leg of the pork and it is typically divided into two parts, which are the picnic roast and Boston butt. These cuts are meaty and perfect for roasting. You can easily pull apart the meat using these cuts and flavor them with the BBQ sauce.
This is a perfect dish for utilizing leftover pork cuts as well. If you’re making this from scratch, go ahead and use the pork should. If you have leftover pork, simply pull the meat apart if you can and then mix the sauce.
How much pulled pork should I make per person?
Becoming a good cook means knowing the yield of the ingredients and food you’ll be making for your dinner party.
Different kinds of meat and cuts of meat will have a different yield from each other. If you weigh baby back pork ribs, it won’t be the same weight when you cook it, obviously. With pulled pork, the general rule of thumb is 1/3 or ½ pound of pork meat per person.
Pulled pork doesn’t look too much unlike pork tenderloin meats where you can easily spot the size per person. Weighing in this case is quite useful for you to follow when preparing pulled pork.
You want to be able to know how much pork shoulder cuts you will need.
What is the best way to shred pulled pork?
This is our favorite part of preparing pulled pork – pulling it! We actually find this therapeutic.
First, you should put the slab of pork on a large chopping board and then slice the slab of pork (which should be very soft by the time you pull it). Slice the larger pieces and then with two forks, insert these into the middle part of a cut and pull the meat opposite from each other, creating stringy threads of pork meat. Do this repeatedly until you’ve pulled all the cuts of the pork shoulder.
You can also use your hands but that’s a little more tedious.
We’ll obviously need macaroni for this dish but we also like experimenting with different kinds of short pasta for mac and cheese. If you don’t have macaroni, you may use shell pasta noodles or even short rigatoni.
Butter is an integral part of macaroni and cheese. This is one of the key factors that flavor the mac and cheese so well and it also contributes to making the roux (to thicken the cheese sauce).
- All Purpose Flour
No fuss over here. Use any kind of all purpose flour you have at home.
We like using rock sea salt when we cook. Try it!
The sugar in this recipe isn’t meant to sweeten the dish but to balance the flavors.
Use fresh whole milk for this recipe.
- Velveeta Cheese
Velveeta cheese is our top pick cheese of choice whenever we make mac and cheese. If you haven’t tried it, please do!
- Cottage Cheese
Have you ever tried cottage cheese in mac and cheese? You’re in for a ride. We find that this keeps the dish moist and less stiff.
- Sour Cream
Sour cream adds sourness to the mac and cheese and it actually balances the richness of the entire dish.
- Cheddar Cheese
Of course cheddar needs to be part of this. It isn’t mac and cheese without cheddar. We like using sharp cheddar for this dish.
- Pulled Pork
Use leftover pork for this if you have any. We love making use of leftovers. However, if you don’t, you can make your own pulled pork using a pork shoulder cut.
- Barbecue Sauce
Use your favorite barbecue sauce for this dish. It’s important that the barbecue flavor stands out. Don’t settle for a below-average tasting sauce. If you want to, you can even use your own homemade barbecue sauce.
Tips and Tricks
- Preheat your oven
We will be baking this delicious BBQ pulled pork mac and cheese dish so everything just forms perfectly well together. Preheat your oven so you have to wait a long time for it to cook.
- Use any kind of cheese you like
We’ve based this recipe on the cheeses that we love in macaroni and cheese. If you’re not partial to Velveeta, you may use different kinds of cheddar, Monterey Jack, even Emmental, or Raclette (yummy and stinky).
- Grease your pan
You don’t want your macaroni and cheese to stick on the pan when you want to devour every corner of that platter.
- Heat up the pork before adding to the macaroni
If you don’t want to wait too long for your macaroni and cheese dish to bake, heat up the pork before adding it on top of the macaroni. This will speed up the baking process.
How to make BBQ pulled pork mac and cheese
How hard is it to make your two most favorite comfort dishes and combining them into one perfect platter?
It’s not hard at all! Be sure to prepare all of your ingredients and equipment before starting.
Make sure you preheat your oven before you start. Preheat the oven to 350F.
Cooked the pasta according to the box’s instructions. You may cook it for a lesser time to make the pasta al dente. Once cooked, drain the water and run under cold water to stop the pasta from cooking through. Set aside.
In a saucepan, melt the butter and then add the flour, salt, and sugar until it forms into something like a roux.
Slowly add the milk while stirring constantly. Continue stirring until the mixture smoothens and cook for another 2-3 minutes until it thickens. Add the Velveeta cheese and allow it to melt. Add the cottage cheese, sour cream, and cheddar cheese. Stir constantly until the cheeses melt.
Grease your mac and cheese pan with butter and add the pasta. Pour in the cheese sauce and mix until everything is coated. Set aside.
In a bowl, place the pulled pork in a bowl and add the barbecue sauce. Mix everything well then place it on top of the macaroni and cheese.
Bake this for 15-20 minutes. You may sprinkle some chopped chives or spring onions on top.
How long is pulled pork good for?
Macaroni and cheese contain a lot of dairy so it’s not really meant to keep in the fridge for too long.
If you want to prepare this dish ahead of time for a dinner party, you may make this ahead of time and serve it within the next 4 days. Of course, it’s always better to serve right away whatever it is you cooked.
How I keep my pulled pork moist when I reheat it?
If you’re reheating small portions at a time, you may reheat the mac and cheese using a pan. When you do, add 1 tablespoon of milk to the pan and then you can reheat a portion of the leftovers.
If you want to reheat more, just add more like. If you would like, you can even add more cheese!