Classic comfort courtesy of CalMac

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This week’s mouthwatering lockdown comfort dish comes courtesy of Highlands and Islands ferry operators CalMac, their take on a classic dish which is an all-time onboard favourite.

Like the rest of us CalMac crew and staff have found that staying at home seems to increase our appetites and simultaneously reduce the contents of the fridge.

So, they decided it was a good time to open up the CalMac recipe book and share their secret with us.

A CalMac spokesperson said: ‘We are proud to have used and introduced our previous passengers to some of the best produce of the west – and during these unprecedented times we will be publishing updates from our island producer and maker colleagues via our newsletter, website and social media channels.

‘This recipe is one of our most popular menu items. Last year we served up an incredible 50,408 portions of this aboard our vessels.

‘Here’s how you can recreate it at home, using one of chief cook’s easy-to-follow recipes.’

CalMac and Cheese

Ingredients (serves 4) 

400g macaroni

70g butter

50g plain flour

900ml milk

100g of Mull of Kintyre Cheddar – grated

2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese – grated

1 tablespoon of Isle of Arran mustard, or English Mustard

Salt and pepper to taste

An oven proof dish.


•Preheat your oven to 180°C

•Cook the macaroni as per the packaging instructions.

•Meanwhile, melt the butter in a saucepan, then stir in the flour and cook for two to three minutes on a medium heat, stirring continuously.

•Gradually add in the milk and keep stirring to ensure a smooth consistency.

•Next, stir in the Mull of Kintyre Cheddar and Parmesan and allow to melt. Keep a little back for the topping.

•Add the Isle of Arran mustard and then remove from the heat.

•Drain the macaroni once cooked, then add it to the sauce.

•Place in an ovenproof dish and add some of the left-over grated cheese as a topping.

•Cook for around 20-25 minutes.

•Serve with a side salad of your choice.

For additional variety, you could add 150g of Stornoway Black Pudding – cooked and crumbled, which can be added to the sauce, prior to placing in the oven. This will create a delicious Mac’n’Black.

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