Tex-Mex macaroni cheese


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Add the milk, sliced onion and bay leaf to a large pan and bring up to gentle simmer. Remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 10 minutes before straining through a sieve into a jug then set aside
Add a splash of oil to a frying pan and place over a medium heat. Gently fry the bacon lardons until cooked through but not crispy. Tip on to a plate and set aside
In another large saucepan bring plenty of water up to the boil and add the macaroni. Turn down the heat a touch and cook the pasta for 10 minutes, or as per the packet instructions
While the pasta is cooking, add the butter for the sauce to a pan and melt down over a medium heat. Whisk in the flour to form a roux and cook out for 1–2 minutes before gradually adding the infused milk, whisking continuously to create a smooth, thick sauce
Stir in the mustard and both grated cheeses, followed by the Mexican jalapeno sauce
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4
Drain the cooked pasta through a colander and mix into the cheese sauce, breaking up any clumps that stick together. Stir in the bacon lardons and adjust the seasoning to taste
Transfer to a large casserole or baking dish and scatter over the breadcrumbs. Bake for 25–30 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbling and the top is golden and crisp
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