We Made Mac And Cheese Tacos With A Bacon Shell So You Don't Have To Bother

While macaroni and cheese in a bacon taco shell might seem like a perfect party appetizer, this is the case if you don't mind putting in an absurd amount of time and effort and potentially wasting a vast amount of bacon. Oops, were we supposed to give a spoiler alert here? That "you don't have to" thing in the title should have served the purpose, but to state things more clearly, recipe developer Jake Vigliotti tells us that making the shell for his bacon weave taco with mac and cheese filling (singular, as his recipe makes just one) "shouldn't be hard, but it is." He speaks of "numerous trial[s] and error[s] and goes on to say "Let me tell you, it took four attempts to get this thing right."

Not only might it take an hour or so to construct a single bacon taco (or even longer, in the likelihood that multiple attempts are required), but you will also need an entire pound of bacon per shell even though much of the bacon is eventually trimmed off. What with the wasted time, effort, and resources, it's probably best to heed Vigliotti's caveat that "some things are better left apart [and] bacon and weaving is at the top of that list." To put it even more bluntly, he poses the rhetorical question, "Is it worth it to make a taco shell out of bacon, and stuff it with mac and cheese?" and immediately answers "Nope. Not even close."

The IPA mac and cheese recipe, however, is a keeper

So was Vigliotti's bacon mac and cheese taco effort a total bust? While he does not endorse making the shells and is unlikely to do so again, he does say there was one good thing to come out of it. As he admits right at the end of his narrative, "We buried the lede! The beer mac and cheese is fantastic. That's the dish you should be making." This low-effort pasta dish is made in a slow cooker and you can use any kind of short, chunky pasta you like: elbows, shells, penne, et cetera. (Vigliotti even went with gluten-free pasta, so that's perfectly permissible in case you were wondering.) The cheesy sauce includes cheddar, Monterey jack, and mozzarella and is flavored with half a can of an IPA, although a milder lager could work if you're not big on International Bitterness Units.

If you want bacon-bedecked mac and cheese, that can easily be achieved by frying up a few strips and crumbling them over the top. To make the dish more party-worthy, you could also try encasing it in bacon cups made by using an upside-down muffin pan. Top each protuberance with two half-slices of bacon cut crosswise, then add another half-slice across the middle for stability. Wrap a whole slice around the base, then bake the bacon in the oven until it's crispy. Once the bacon cups are cooled, you can fill them with beery, cheesy goodness.