The weather may still be grey, muggy and imploring for a thunderstorm but the Spirit of Summer is still well and truly running through me and today's little number is one I've had my eye on for quite a few months.. It's BBQ Pulled Pork Mac 'n' Cheese!
The 300g cheesy pasta is actually designed to feed 2 as it is a side dish within a Pizza meal deal. I wasn't in the mood for the whole shebang so bought it on its own for £3.. Whilst eyeing up the Onion Rings and Cheesy Fries!
Cooked pasta in a creamy cheese sauce with pulled pork in a smoky barbecue sauce topped with mature cheddar cheese and parsley.
I cooked as instructed at 180ºC Fan* for 25 minutes on a baking tray after stabbing the film on top with some aggression - Trust me, it helps.
The Mac 'n" Cheese came out smelling delightful - Super cheesy with a hint of BBQ. Unfortunately though, I was disappointed by how dry the pasta looked.. There was no where near enough sauce to coat the lot evenly and in turn, some of the macaroni had caught slightly! This was only reaffirmed when eating with a mish mash of textures - Soft and Al dente in parts yet rock solid in others despite giving a bit of a stir! The sauce itself, even though there was little of it, was decent enough with a thick gooey texture and good cheesy flavour. As for the pulled pork, a fairly generous lump was present and had the soft, melt in the mouth texture one would expect.. If only it didn't taste of fennel and nothing but! As a passionate hater of the stuff, I found this to overpower the entire dish and scooped the lot out promptly and ended up just picking at the bits of pasta it hadn't touched! - Yuck!
Good grief - How can anyone get Mac 'n' Cheese wrong? I've heard nothing but good things about the one in M&S regular line! Some serious recipe editing needs to happen here starting with the amount of sauce being doubled to prevent dry, solid pasta pieces and that meat.. Well get rid of the fennel at least, if not do away with it completely - I think I've been put off entirely! It's a 2.5 out of 5 from me.
*Nuke for 3 minutes if that's what tickles your pickle.