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Gourmet Comfort Food: Pulled Pork Mac ‘n’ Cheese Muffins with Sriracha-Honey Glaze

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Steve Martinek

This football season, we’ve partnered with Taste of the NFL and their favorite tailgating experts to share great game-day recipes for an even greater cause.  Join these chefs in raising awareness and funds for hunger relief across the country by taking the Kick Hunger Challenge with your favorite football team and making a donation to their local food bank. And be sure to check PEOPLE.com every Thursday for a new game day recipe from your favorite celebrity chefs. Here, Chris Shea of The Wayfarer shares a recipe for his pulled pork mac and cheese muffins with Sriracha honey glaze.

To give this game day dish a gourmet twist, I like to make the mac and cheese with Beecher’s flagship cheese. It is actually produced in Manhattan using dairy from New York, and it has a really great taste. You can mail order their cheese (it makes a great gift!) or substitute it with your favorite brand of cheddar cheese from your local grocery store.

This dish meets all the criteria for great tailgating food. First, it can be made from leftovers. Secondly, it is easy to transport to your viewing party or to the stadium parking lot. And lastly, it tastes great reheated. The mac and cheese and pork is filling and warm in cold weather and pairs great with beer and soft drinks during the game.

Steve Martinek

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Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese Muffins with Sriracha Honey Glaze

Pulled Pork 
4-6 pounds boneless pork butt
2 tbsp. kosher salt
1 tbsp. ground Black pepper
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 Spanish onions, roughly chopped
2 ribs celery
3 large carrots
2 pieces of chipotle in adobo
4 cloves garlic
2 bay leaves
1 quart chicken stock
Juice and peel of 4 oranges
1 pint bbq sauce
2 guajillo peppers
1 cup apple cider vinegar

Sriracha Glaze
2 cups honey
½ cup Sriracha
¼ cup molasses
2 tbsp. soy sauce

Mac and Cheese 
16 oz. cooked elbow macaroni
3 tbsp. butter
3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
2 cups grated Beecher’s Flagship Cheese (or your favorite cheddar cheese)
¼ cup mascarpone
1/4 cup cream cheese
1 tsp. grated nutmeg
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 cup finely julienne scallions
3 eggs
16 oz. pepper jack cheese cut into ½ inch cubes

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1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Heat a large dutch oven over medium high heat. Season pork with salt and pepper. Add vegetable oil and sear on all sides. Add onions, celery, carrots, chipotle in adobo, garlic, bay leaves, chicken stock, oranges and bbq sauce, cover and place in oven and cook about 4 hours until pork is tender.

3. When pork is cooked allow to rest in the dutch oven for an hour before removing. Pull pork and freeze whatever you are not using for next Sunday. Strain the liquid and blend with guajillo peppers and apple cider vinegar for a mildly spicy, smoky bbq sauce. Set aside.

4. Prepare the Sriracha glaze: combine the honey, Sriracha, molasses and soy sauce in a sauce pot, bringing it to a simmer and whisk thoroughly. Set aside.

5. Prepare the cheese sauce in a separate pot: mix the butter and whisk in flour. Add milk and bring to a simmer stirring occasionally. Mix in the cheese, mascarpone, cream cheese, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Set aside

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6. Mix cooked pasta with cheese sauce, pork, scallions, eggs and pepper jack cheese and scoop into muffin pans that have been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Bake about 18 minutes at 325 degrees until golden brown . Allow to cool slightly before removing from the tin. Serve muffins warm with a drizzle of Sriracha glaze.