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Mac 'n' Cheese Balls

Macaroni cheese might use a plenty of Italian ingredients... but it's become a staple in the US. Available frozen from supermarkets, in fast food joints and cooked fresh at home for the family. Our version goes a step further and includes slow cooked short rib in the centre of mac 'n' cheese balls all coated in crispy golden breadcrumbs.

But what would you put in yours?

Ingredients & RecipePrint


  • macaroni pasta (400g)
  • a few rashers of bacon, chopped
  • whole milk (300ml)
  • butter (30g)
  • flour (20g) + an extra bowl for breading.
  • double cream (50ml)
  • cheddar cheese (75g)
  • a pinch of nutmeg
  • a chunk of parmesan (20g)
  • cooked braised brisket or short rib
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • a bowl of panko breadcrumbs
  • arugula to serve


boil a pan of salted water and add the pasta.
cook for 8 minutes, until the pasta is just cooked.
pour the milk into a pan and bring to the boil.
melt the butter in another pan, add the bacon and cook for a few moments.
whisk the flour into the butter to form a smooth paste (roux).
pour the milk into the roux a little at a time, whisking continuously to keep the sauce smooth.
add the nutmeg, parmesan and cheddar, then stir the sauce until the cheese melts before adding the cream.
drain the pasta and stir it into the cheese sauce.
pour the mac 'n' cheese into a tray and cool in the fridge just until it can be moulded into balls, about an hour should do.
press a layer of chilled mac ‘n’ cheese onto a sheet of Clingfilm (about 10cm across) and place a mound of cooked beef in the centre.
wrap the mac ‘n’ cheese tightly around the beef to make balls.
place the balls into the freezer until very cool and the sauce is hardened, then peel off the Clingfilm.
roll the balls in the flour, followed by the beaten eggs, then finally by the breadcrumbs.
preheat the fryer or pan of oil to 170ºC.
carefully place the balls into the fryer (in batches if necessary) and fry for 5-6 minutes, until all of the breadcrumbs are golden brown and the beef in the centre is hot.
serve as a starter on a bed of arugala or several as a main course!

serves 4

Mac 'n' Cheese Balls

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