Take one taste of this twist on a classic and you won’t look back. Thick and creamy mac n’ cheese is topped with a crunchy, flavorful jerky topping.
- 1 lb elbow noodles
- 1/2 tbsp. Smoked Paprika
- 4 tbsp. Butter, melted
- 1/4 c Parmesan Cheese
- 1 c Panko
- 1 lb Gruyere, Shredded
- 1 tbsp. Whole Black peppercorn
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 1 Sprig Rosemary
- 3 Sprigs Thyme
- 1 1/2 c Whole Milk
- 2 1/2 c Heavy Cream
- 5 tbsp. Flour
- 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
- 1 Yellow onion, small dice
- 4 tbsp. Butter
- 4 oz Beef Jerky, shredded
- When ready to cook, start your Traeger according to grill instructions. Set the temperature to 350 degrees F and preheat, lid closed (10-15 minutes).
- Heat butter in a medium stock pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté for 5 minutes or until translucent and tender. Add garlic and sauté 30 seconds more. Add flour and stir well with a wooden spoon. Cook roux for 1 minute until it smells slightly nutty. While whisking, stream in milk and cream and continue to whisk until flour clumps are worked out.
- Wrap herbs and black peppercorn in cheese cloth and tie with twine. Drop into cream mixture and simmer 15-20 minutes until liquid thickens. Remove cheese cloth with herbs and discard.
- Remove from heat, whisk in gruyere until melted through and season with salt. Set aside.
- Bring a large salted pot of water to a boil. Add noodles and cook 6-8 minutes until al dente. Drain and rinse pasta. Add to cheese sauce and stir to coat. Pour mixture into a large cast iron pan.
- In a small bowl combine panko, parmesan cheese, melted butter, paprika and stir well.
- Sprinkle mixture over mac and cheese then top with shredded jerky “dust”.
- Place cast iron pan directly on the grill grate and bake 15-20 minutes until cheese sauce is bubbling and top is lightly browned. Remove from the grill and serve.