Comfort Food Rewind: Mini Mac n Cheese Cups with Pork Shoulder Ragù for #SundaySupper

 

Ah, comfort food. .  when I think of comfort food, two things immediately come to mind: 1) wearing loose pants and 2) forgetting all the calories, and just eating, enjoying the food and relaxing. Isn’t that what comfort food is all about?  Who cares if you eat that entire bowl of mac n cheese! The stress and the worry or whatever it is will be there tomorrow. What’s life without a little indulging anyway? For me, comfort food is best when enjoyed with others. .  so cook up something warm and gooey and enjoy, my friends. Life is too short to be counting those freaking calories all the time.

 

When I found out this week’s Sunday Supper theme was Comfort Food, I knew I had to bring back my absolute favorite of all time. Pairing two of my favorite things: Macaroni and Cheese and Pork Shoulder Ragù. I would have just prepared a baked mac n cheese but these are so much cuter and fun to eat + they add the wonderful Pork Shoulder Ragù which – seriously-  takes these mac n cheese cups to the next level.

 

If you like mac n cheese, you simply must try this one. .  now, I know this isn’t a simple, under 30 minutes recipe. .  BUT you’ll remember this first bite forever. It’s that good.

 

I hope you enjoy!

 

Mini Mac n Cheese Cups with Pork Shoulder Ragù
 
NOTE: For the Pork Shoulder Ragù, please note the braising time required. I highly recommend making the pork a day ahead just to make the cooking time easier.
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Serves: 8
Ingredients
For Mac n Cheese Cups:
  • 1 and ½ cups Ritz crackers, crushed (I placed all the crackers in a big ziploc bag and used a rolling pin)
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese, grated and divided
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 4 and ½ cups cooked elbow macaroni (about 8 ounces uncooked)
  • One 5.2-ounce container of Boursin Garlic and Herb cheese (or The Laughing Cow Garlic & Herb spreadable cheese)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Pinch red pepper flakes (optional; for a little heat)
  • Fresh Parsley, for garnish
For Pork Shoulder Ragu:
  • 1 pound boneless pork shoulder roast
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 small onion; chopped
  • 1 garlic clove; minced
  • 1 - 28 oz can whole tomatoes or diced, with juice
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 4-5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4-5 sprigs fresh oregano
  • Small handful of fennel seeds (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce, for smokiness (optional)
  • Fresh Parsley, for garnish
Instructions
For Mac n Cheese Cups:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Generously spray 8 cups of your muffin pan with cooking spray.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the crushed Ritz crackers, 1 cup of the shredded cheddar cheese, and the melted butter, mixing well until the mixture holds together and resembles coarse sand. Divide the mixture among the 8 muffin cups and, using your fingers, press the crust firmly into the bottoms and up the sides of each muffin cup.
  4. In another large bowl, combine the cooked (and still hot) macaroni with ½ cup of the shredded cheddar, the garlic & herb cheese, and the butter. Mix well.
  5. In a separate small bowl, combine the eggs, milk, sour cream, salt, and red pepper flakes (if using) and mix well. Add the egg/milk mixture to the cooked macaroni, mixing until all of the ingredients are melted and smoothly combined. Place about 2-3 tablespoons of the macaroni mixture into each muffin cup.
  6. Top each muffin cup with the remaining cheddar cheese. Bake the mac and cheese cups until lightly golden on top, about 20-25 minutes. Let cool slightly before removing from the muffin pan. Use a fork to gently remove from the muffin pan.
For Pork Shoulder Ragù:
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Liberally salt and pepper the pork roast. Add olive oil and butter to large Dutch oven and heat over medium-high until butter melts, but does not burn. Add pork roast to pan and brown on all sides, about 8-10 minutes in all.
  2. Add the onions and garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, wine, thyme, oregano, fennel and hot sauce (if using) and bring to a boil. Cover, and put in oven. Braise for about 2 hours, turning every hour or so. Add more liquid (water, wine, or tomato sauce) if needed. I recommend adding more tomato sauce if you need to. (The liquid should come to about ⅓ of the way up the pork.) Meat is done when it’s practically falling apart. Put on a cutting board and pull it apart with two forks, then add back to the pot and stir.
To Assemble your Mac n Cheese cups with the Pork:
  1. Top your mac n' cheese cups with some pork shoulder ragù and top with fresh parsley. Serve while still hot.

Mac n Cheese Pie Recipe adapted from The Curvy Carrot.

 

 

Comfort Food Around the Family Table #SundaySupper

This week’s Sunday Supper is being hosted by the lovely Isabel Foodie, with special guest Lee Woodruff.  Check out all the delicious comfort food dishes that will be served around our Sunday Supper table today!

 

#SundaySupper Comfort Food |Soups

#SundaySupper Comfort Food  | Main Dish

#SundaySupper Comfort Food | Desserts

Pairing Wine with Sunday Supper Comfort Food Favorites! by ENOFYLZ Wine Blog 

 

We would be honored to have you join us on Twitter throughout the day during #SundaySupper.  We’ll be meeting up at 7:00 pm (Eastern) for our weekly #SundaySupper  live chat where we’ll talk about our favorite Comfort Food Recipes.

 

All you have to do is follow the #SundaySupper hashtag or you can follow us through TweetChat. We’d also love to feature your easy go to recipes on our #SundaySupper Pinterest board and share them with all of our followers, too.

 

 

 

 

 

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103 Responses to "Comfort Food Rewind: Mini Mac n Cheese Cups with Pork Shoulder Ragù for #SundaySupper"

Add Comment
  1. Paula @ Vintage Kitchen

    October 14, 2012 at 10:16 am

    These are two great comfort foods in one! If I had to choose a savory comfort food it´s pasta with some kind of meat sauce. So this recipe is perfect! Wonderful Alice!

    Reply
    • hipfoodiemom

      October 14, 2012 at 11:58 pm

      Thank you so much, Paula!

      Reply
  2. veronica gantley

    October 14, 2012 at 11:14 am

    Mac and cheese and pork? Be still my heart! These are my two ultimate comfort foods. Yum!

    Reply
    • hipfoodiemom

      October 14, 2012 at 11:59 pm

      Haha, thank you Veronica! I hope you give this recipe a try . . if you like mac n cheese and pork, you will LOVE this. I promise!

      Reply
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  17. Katie

    October 14, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    This sounds AMAZING! And, the presentation is gorgeous…I don’t think I could resist one of those adorable little cups of goodness!

    Reply
    • hipfoodiemom

      October 15, 2012 at 12:00 am

      Thank you so much, Katie!

      Reply
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  23. krayl @ An Appealing Plan

    October 14, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    wow -these look fantastic! Perfect for entertaining.

    Reply
    • hipfoodiemom

      October 15, 2012 at 12:01 am

      Thank you, Krayl! and yes, these are perfect for guests and entertaining!

      Reply
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  25. Megan

    October 14, 2012 at 9:25 pm

    Yes please! I will take 5 of those little guys. Awesome photos, awesome presentation and awesome recipe. You are awesome x3 today :)

    Reply
    • hipfoodiemom

      October 15, 2012 at 12:02 am

      Megan, you are so sweet! You just made my day! Thanks for the sweet words! :)

      Reply
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  28. Tara Noland

    October 14, 2012 at 9:51 pm

    OH MY HEAVENS, that looks fantastic!!

    Reply
    • hipfoodiemom

      October 15, 2012 at 12:05 am

      Thank you so much, Tara! :)

      Reply
  29. Tammi

    October 14, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    Just made some of these today to freeze for my daughter, love the topping on yours!! Will have to try that! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    • hipfoodiemom

      October 15, 2012 at 12:06 am

      Thank you, Tammi! I hope you do. . the pork shoulder ragu is pretty amazing!

      Reply
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  31. Kim Bee

    October 14, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    Dude, way to take the perfect recipe, take the perfect photo and make the rest of us look like slackers. Lol!

    You blew me away with this one. It’s a stunning picture and even more stunning recipe. Great job.

    Reply
    • hipfoodiemom

      October 15, 2012 at 12:04 am

      Kim,
      OMG! Your Chocolate fudge brownie ice cream looks pretty damn amazing too!!

      Thank you so much for the kinds words. . you seriously made my day! I try really hard with the photos. . so this means a lot! Thank you!

      Reply
  32. Lane @ Supper for a Steal

    October 14, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    How cute are these? Beautiful photos.

    Reply
    • hipfoodiemom

      October 15, 2012 at 12:05 am

      Thank you, Lane!

      Reply
  33. Nancy @ gottagetbaked

    October 15, 2012 at 12:25 am

    Ok, that’s it – I HAVE to make your pork shoulder ragu. Every time you post about it, I literally start drooling. Or, I just need to get in my car, drive down to Seattle and come to your house so that you can make it for me. Either way – I wish I were eating this right now! I also can’t believe the gorgeous crispy crust you got on your adorable mac ‘n cheese cups. YUM!

    Reply
    • hipfoodiemom

      October 15, 2012 at 6:12 am

      haha, thanks Nancy! and YES! You must make this OR come over! :) This is seriously awesome. . and that’s why I make it so much!

      Reply
  34. Bea

    October 15, 2012 at 2:30 am

    Yes, please :) What a great idea – oh, and the addition of the pork ragu?! Yum!!! They are just beautiful :) Thank you!

    Reply
    • hipfoodiemom

      October 15, 2012 at 6:12 am

      Thank you so much, Bea! :)

      Reply
  35. baker street

    October 15, 2012 at 2:44 am

    Mac and Cheese with Pork?! HOLY YUM! What an incredible recipe, Alice!

    Reply
    • hipfoodiemom

      October 15, 2012 at 6:13 am

      Thank you!! :)

      Reply
  36. Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious

    October 15, 2012 at 5:36 am

    These look dangerous! I could eat so many of these in a single serving!

    Reply
    • hipfoodiemom

      October 15, 2012 at 6:15 am

      Thank you, Chung-Ah! :) they are dangerous. . but remember it’s comfort food so I am forgetting the calories and everything and just enjoying myself! :) I’ll do some extra sit ups tomorrow. :P

      Reply
  37. girl in a food frenzy

    October 15, 2012 at 10:37 am

    Love, love, love!!! I’m all for comfort food and Mac n cheese with slow pulled pork is the ultimate comfort crave! My sweetheart is going to be begging for these delicious tasties…

    Reply
    • hipfoodiemom

      October 15, 2012 at 8:48 pm

      Haha, thank you! I hope you make this! :)

      Reply
  38. Heather @girlichef

    October 15, 2012 at 11:04 am

    Wow, these sound and look amazing! I love both mac ‘n cheese and any sort of shreddy pork shoulder, so this pretty much sounds like comfort-bliss!

    Reply
    • hipfoodiemom

      October 15, 2012 at 8:49 pm

      Thank you so much, Heather! :)

      Reply
  39. Laura Hunter

    October 15, 2012 at 11:26 am

    I want to forget all about calories right now and help myself to a large plate of these. Oh why oh why did I read this posting right before lunch. My sandwich seems so inferior now.

    Reply
    • hipfoodiemom

      October 15, 2012 at 8:49 pm

      LOL! :) Thank you, Laura!

      Reply
  40. diabeticFoodie

    October 15, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    Wow! I didn’t think it was possible for food to be gorgeous and adorable at the same time.

    Reply
    • hipfoodiemom

      October 15, 2012 at 8:50 pm

      Thank you! They are pretty aren’t they? :P

      Reply
  41. Stephanie {TheCookieADayChallenge}

    October 15, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    I really enjoy you addition of the pork sholder. Wow! delicious!

    Reply
    • hipfoodiemom

      October 15, 2012 at 9:17 pm

      Thank you, Stephanie!

      Reply
  42. Dara

    October 15, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    Love these, so adorable and comforting. Great post.

    Reply
    • hipfoodiemom

      October 15, 2012 at 9:17 pm

      Thank you, Dara! :)

      Reply
  43. REMCooks.com

    October 15, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    Love it!

    Reply
    • hipfoodiemom

      October 15, 2012 at 9:18 pm

      Thank you, Richard! :)

      Reply
  44. Linda | The Urban Mrs

    October 15, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    I’m beyond thrilled – this looks sooo good. I need to change into my fat lazy pants and enjoying this…together with you!

    Reply
    • hipfoodiemom

      October 15, 2012 at 9:19 pm

      haha! thank you, Linda! Sounds good! :) Yes, I am always in my comfy sweat pants when eating comfort food. . only way to do it. Word up.

      Reply
  45. Julia | JuliasAlbum.com

    October 15, 2012 at 11:19 pm

    Your mac and cheese cups look so delicious! I see you have a linky party here! Maybe I’ll join next time.

    Reply
  46. Jennifer B

    October 15, 2012 at 11:39 pm

    I didn’t even read the first word of your post before I pinned this recipe to make later! Gorgeous presentation and it sounds so delicious!

    Reply
    • hipfoodiemom

      October 16, 2012 at 6:38 pm

      Wow, thank you! For a food blogger, that is a great compliment. . that the photo was just that good! :)

      Reply
  47. Amy Kim (@kimchi_mom)

    October 16, 2012 at 3:42 am

    Duuuuude. I could eat all 8 servings on my own.

    And yes, you elevated mac and cheese to another level. Bravo, my friend, bravo!

    Reply
    • hipfoodiemom

      October 16, 2012 at 6:38 pm

      Thanks chingoo! :) yeah, these are dangerous. . :)

      Reply
  48. The Wimpy Vegetarian

    October 16, 2012 at 5:10 am

    Oohhhh! Pork is such a weakness for me. I love a great ragu made from pork shoulder. And with a little mac n cheese? Perfect. And I just love your photo!!! Pinning this one – this is one of those wimpy vegetarian moments. I just know I need to make this!!

    Reply
    • hipfoodiemom

      October 16, 2012 at 6:39 pm

      haha, thank you so much! :) You will love the pork ragu! Let me know if you try it!

      Reply
  49. Brandi @ TheHealthyFlavor.com

    October 16, 2012 at 6:38 am

    That’s so beautiful Alice!! Love your presentation! That Mac-n-cheese looks amazing!

    Reply
    • hipfoodiemom

      October 16, 2012 at 6:40 pm

      Thank you so much, Brandi! :)

      Reply
  50. Martin D. Redmond

    October 16, 2012 at 11:37 am

    What a fabulous recipes! I love the concept and the photos and presentation are marvelous!

    Reply
    • hipfoodiemom

      October 16, 2012 at 6:41 pm

      Thank you so much, Martin! These are to be enjoyed with some great wine! :P (always!)

      Reply
  51. justcooknyc

    October 16, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    these are adorable

    Reply
    • hipfoodiemom

      October 16, 2012 at 6:42 pm

      Thank you so much! I hope you give this recipe a try! :)

      Reply
  52. Sarah

    October 16, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    I love how you used the spreadable cheese. I’m going to have to try that next time I make mac and cheese for Josh. Like many Korean’s I’m not a huge fan of cheese. BUT! I am in love with your pork shoulder ragu. I’m going to have to make some with a whole package of thick rigatoni and eat it till my comfy pants feel tight! Great recipe Alice!

    Reply
    • hipfoodiemom

      October 16, 2012 at 6:43 pm

      haha, thank you Sarah! Let me know if Josh likes it! :) He and my husband, Paul, seem to be very similar! :)

      Reply
  53. Anne @ Webicurean

    October 16, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    I think the first thing I did Sunday morning was pin this on my “recipes to try” board, and I keep going back and admiring the picture–it looks THAT good! I can’t wait to give this a try!

    Reply
    • hipfoodiemom

      October 16, 2012 at 6:44 pm

      Oh my goodness! Thank you so much!!! That is a huge compliment! :) totally blushing. . :) you made my day!

      Reply
  54. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts

    October 16, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    Oh that ragu on top look amazing, and makes these over the top.

    Reply
    • hipfoodiemom

      October 16, 2012 at 6:45 pm

      Thank you so much, Erin! :)

      Reply
  55. Angie @ Big Bear's Wife

    October 16, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    Holy Comfort Food! How perfect!

    Reply
    • hipfoodiemom

      October 16, 2012 at 8:52 pm

      Thank you, Angie! :)

      Reply
  56. Arlene @FlourOnMyFace

    October 16, 2012 at 8:47 pm

    Yummy that looks like the perfect bite of comfort food!

    Reply
    • hipfoodiemom

      October 16, 2012 at 8:53 pm

      Thanks Arlene! I have to agree with you on that! It certainly was. . thank you!

      Reply
  57. Alaiyo Kiasi

    October 16, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    May I say WOW! I’m finishing my rounds from Sunday, making sure that I respond to everyone’s post, and I’m still blown away by the lovely dishes–particularly yours. Cheers!

    Reply
    • hipfoodiemom

      October 17, 2012 at 6:27 am

      I know! Oh my goodness! All of the dishes were great! And thank you so much, Alaiyo! So sweet of you to say that, thank you!

      Reply
  58. sunithi

    October 20, 2012 at 3:49 am

    ooh, these are so cute ! Would make a great appetizer or snack . My kids love mac & cheese and will be floored if I make this ! So creative ! Thanks for sharing :)

    Reply
    • hipfoodiemom

      October 20, 2012 at 6:45 am

      Of course! Thank you, Sunithi! :)

      Reply
  59. Amanda

    October 20, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    Yum – bet it would be great with beef too!

    Reply
    • hipfoodiemom

      October 20, 2012 at 3:22 pm

      Hi Amanda, yes- definitely! Any great ragu would do! :)

      Reply
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