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!
Recipe developed in partnership with Ontario Pork.
Prep Time: 20 mins. | Cook Time: 8 hrs. | Serves: 6-8
2-3 lb (0.9 – 1.3 kg) Ontario pork shoulder
Salt and pepper
1 cup (250 mL) root beer
1 cup (250 mL) of barbeque sauce (of your choice)
Mac N Cheese:
1 lb (500 g) fresh mixed mushrooms (portabella, shiitake, oyster), coarsely chopped
2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil
3 cups (750 mL) rigatoni pasta (cooked until al dente)
3 cups (750 mL) milk
½ large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
½ tbsp (7 mL) Italian herbs
2 tbsp (30 mL) butter
2 tbsp (30 mL) flour
1 tbsp (15 mL) Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper, to taste
3 cups (750 mL) sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
¼ cup (60 mL) chopped cilantro
1. Season all sides of pork with salt and pepper. Place pork in slow cooker with root beer and barbeque 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 barbeque sauce if you wish. Cover and return to low.
2. Place chopped mushrooms on a large baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Roast mushrooms in a 400°F oven for 15-20 minutes, flipping halfway through. Set aside.
3. In a large pot, cook pasta until al dente. Set aside.
4. In a large pot combine milk, onion, garlic, and Italian herbs; bring to a simmer for 10 minutes, allowing for flavours to steep. Pour through a strainer and return to pot.
5. 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.
6. 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).
7. Bake at 350°F/175°C 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.