If you thought macaroni and cheese couldn’t get better, prepare your taste buds for the flavour experience of a lifetime. Mushrooms, pulled pork and cheese make for a great take on a classic meal.

The recipe was made in partnership with Mushrooms Canada and Ontario Pork.

Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese with Mushrooms

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 8 hours
Serves: 6 to 8

Ingredients:

Pulled Pork:
½ lb mushrooms, finely chopped
2-3 lb (0.9–1.3 kg) Ontario pork shoulder1 cup (250 mL) root beer
1 cup (250 mL) of barbecue sauce
Salt and pepper

Mac and 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
3 cups (750 mL) sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
¼ cup (60 mL) chopped cilantro
Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

Season all sides of pork with salt and pepper. Place in slow cooker with root beer and barbecue sauce. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 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 barbecue sauce if you wish. Cover and return to low.

Place chopped mushrooms on a large baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Roast mushrooms in a 400°F oven for 15 to 20 minutes, flipping halfway through. Set aside.
In a large pot, cook pasta until al dente. Set aside.

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.
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 mustard, salt and pepper.
Transfer cooked pasta to a large casserole dish. Mix in roasted mushrooms, cheese and sauce. Top with approximately 3 cups of pulled pork (the rest can be reserved).
Bake at 350°F (175°C) until cheese is completely melted, approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro.

The Author:

Find more ways to add fabulous flavour to your meals at mushrooms.ca.

Source: (NC) www.newscanada.com

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