This is my second recipe for Kitchen Conversations by Land O Lakes. The assignment was to modernize a vintage recipe and my first thought was for my love of mac and cheese. Everyone has their tried and true family favorites, but we like to find new ways to keep them fresh and exciting. Growing up, we all loved macaroni and cheese, right? Last year, I had the best macaroni and cheese side dish in Portland, Oregon and when I asked, they told me they used both sharp cheddar and parmesan cheeses.
So when I started to make this recipe, that's where I started. This is my ultimate recipe because it combines my love of mac & cheese, mushrooms and my obsession with beef short ribs.
I recently traveled to Austin and participated in a dinner hosted by Land O'Lakes and got to hang out with some pretty awesome bloggers! Pictured left to right are Becky from the Land O'Lakes Test Kitchens, Maria, Sommer, Ree, me and Brenda. We chatted about butter the the vintage recipes we modernized!
First, cook the elbow macaroni (you can use shells if you want to). I undercooked the macaroni and boiled them for only six minutes. Set aside to cool while you’re making your roux and cheese sauce.
The beginning of every roux is butter, I used Land O Lakes® Unsalted Butter in Half Sticks, or 4 tablespoons of butter. Love these half sticks because you can just throw them into the pan and don’t even have to mess with re-wrapping! It’s super convenient! The middle picture is right before I added the two cheeses.
Before baking, I added a layer of cheddar cheese on top. Yummy! (You can bake the mac & cheese separately from the mushrooms and short ribs to give your family and friends a choice. Curtis doesn’t like mushrooms but he likes beef, so that’s what I did.)
But I didn’t stop there. This is about modernizing a vintage recipe, right? Adding beef short ribs and mushrooms adds a lot more time to this recipe, but it’s so worth it. To make it vegetarian or shorten the cooking time, you can omit the short ribs.
Before braising the short ribs, I cut the meat off the bones to make it easier to cut up later, but I put the bones in the pot with the ribs in the pot to add flavor. I’ll tell you one thing, while the short ribs were braising, it smelled so good. It was hard not to sample them when they came out of the oven!
My favorite way to cook mushrooms is to use both Land O Lakes® Unsalted Butter in Half Sticks and soy sauce. It makes the most flavorful mushrooms! Add these mushrooms to your next homemade burger and you’ll thank me!
And in less than 15 minutes, the mushrooms are done.
This recipe tasted amazing and I devoured both of the ramekins after I finished photographing them! The extra time is well worth it, but making the mac & cheese straight up without any additions takes less than an hour.
Be sure to check out the Land O'Lakes giveaway!
Beef Short Rib & Mushroom Mac & Cheese Recipe
Braised Beef Short Ribs
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 pounds beef short ribs, bones removed from meat
- 1 carrot, washed and chopped (peeling optional)
- 1 celery, chopped
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3/4 cup red wine
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 cups low sodium chicken broth, or 1 15-ounce can
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
Mac & Cheese
- 16 ounces uncooked macaroni pasta
- 1 half stick, 4 tablespoons Land O Lakes® Unsalted Butter (and extra butter for greasing the baking dish)
- 1/4 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup 2% milk
- salt & pepper
- 1 cup extra sharp yellow cheddar cheese, shredded (plus more for topping)
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
- 2 tablespoons Land O Lakes® Unsalted Butter
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 16 ounces baby bella or white button mushrooms, washed and sliced
Braised Beef Short Ribs
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Heat a Dutch oven or other heavy, oven-safe pot with a lid over medium-high heat and add oil. Add short ribs and the bones and brown each side for about 3 to 4 minutes. Work in batches to avoid crowding the beef. Remove beef to a plate and set aside.
- Add carrots, celery and onions to pot and cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until onions have softened. Mix every so often with a rubber spatula. Add garlic and cook for 60 seconds, being careful not to burn the garlic. Add wine slowly and use rubber spatula to scrape the bottom of the pot. Allow the wine to simmer and reduce for about 1 to 3 minutes.
- Add chicken broth and salt and pepper. Add bay leaf, thyme, oregano and soy sauce. Mix together and then add short ribs and the bones back to the pot. Bring broth to a boil for a couple of minutes. Cover the French oven and place on the middle rack of the oven and cook for 2 to 2 1/2 hours (turn the short ribs over halfway through), until the meat shreds easily.
- Remove the short ribs and the bones and place on a plate to cool. Slice the beef against the grain and cut into bite-sized pieces.
- Note: I find it much easier to slice the beef when it's been refrigerated. Braising the beef short ribs can be done a day or two ahead of time. Just refrigerate the beef after it has cooled and slice and cut the beef when you're ready to make the mac & cheese. To reheat the beef, just add the chopped pieces to a nonstick skillet and cook on medium until heated through.
Mac & Cheese
- Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Bring water to a boil in a large pot. Boil macaroni about 4 to 5 minutes less than the instructions on the packaging calls for. Drain pasta and set aside to cool.
- Melt butter in a medium saucepan on medium heat. Make a roux by adding flour and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Stir constantly and cook the roux for 3 to 4 minutes. Whisk in heavy cream and milk slowly, being sure to break up the roux. Continue whisking and cooking on medium heat for about 3 to 5 minutes until thickened. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and add both cheeses. Mix until the cheese is melted all the way through. Add cooked pasta and mix thoroughly to ensure every piece of pasta is evenly coated with the cheese sauce.
- Spread pasta in a 3.5-quart buttered baking dish. Add a layer of cheddar cheese on top. Place baking dish on a foil-lined baking sheet and place on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 28 to 30 minutes.
- Melt unsalted butter in a medium nonstick pan and heat on medium. Add soy sauce and mushrooms to pan. Constantly stir mushrooms and cook for 8 to 12 minutes. A lot of water will appear in the pan as the mushrooms cook down; allow that to cook down and then brown the mushrooms.
- Serve macaroni and cheese in little ramekins or small bowls and allow everyone to choose how much beef and mushrooms they want with their portions.
Disclosure: The Little Kitchen has partnered with Land O’Lakes for an exclusive endorsement of Land O Lakes® Butter for their Kitchen Conversation blogger program. This blog post is sponsored by Land O’Lakes. I always share my own honest opinions and only work with brands that I love.
My boyfriend will love this! Thank you!!! He loves mac and I love short ribs and veggies (with soy sauce). Great idea 🙂 I have similar little dishes that are for a fondue set that I always use to eat out of cause it’s the perfect portion. You’re site is great! I’ve been checking out recipes all morning.
Julie Deily says
Hi Kelly, thanks for the kind words! 🙂
Lovely recipe. Thank you and have a great weekend!
I tried this recipe over the weekend, I didn’t too much are for the mac and cheese (too hooked on my moms) however the short beef ribs were great! I just moved into my new place so I didn’t have all of my kitchen appliances ready yet so instead of putting them in a dutch oven, I poured them into my slow cooker and set them on high to cook over night for 9 hours. When I woke up on Sunday Morning, my GOD! These things were incredibly tender with the most delicious flavors. Will definitely be making these ribs again… Next time I will add some quartered potatoes in the slow cooker to make it one complete meal in one! Thanks for the delicious recipe.
Julie Deily says
Lovelle, that’s awesome! So glad to hear! I love making short ribs in my slow cooker too!! 🙂
Jenny @ BAKE says
Mushroom mac and cheese sounds epic! I’m going to have to try that next time I make it!
Nutmeg Nanny says
Oh wow! This looks incredible 🙂 such a brilliant recipe!
I loved the regular macaroni and cheese recipe. I’m allergic to mushrooms so I don’t eat anything with them
Julie Deily says
So glad you liked it, Cheryl!
[email protected] Happened says
my mouth is watering! I love the idea of using mushrooms, but most of all, I love that you used parmesan!
Ruby @ The Ruby Red Apron says
Amazing! Everything sounds delicious in this modern take on mac & cheese!
O.M.G. Three things I love – mac & cheese, short ribs, and mushrooms! You’re a genius, Julie.
Tracy | Peanut Butter and Onion says
Love short ribs, love mushrooms, love mac and cheese… we can now be food BFF’s
Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious says
I could totally get on board with this version of mac and cheese!
Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies says
Ooh, I love mushrooms in my mac & cheese. This looks awesome!
addie | culicurious says
oh this recipe looks delicious, Julie! I love the combo you’ve used here. Short ribs and mac n cheese PLUS sautéed mushrooms? I DIE! 😉 oh yes, and I WANT 🙂
Kelly Stilwell says
That looks so delicious! And to hang out with Ree Drummond! Wow! So jealous 🙂
Rachel @ Baked by Rachel says
I love any and all mac n cheeses. This looks ridiculously tasty Julie!
Carla @ Carlas Confections says
I LITERALLY just stuffed my face with breakfast and I am already wishing I was eating this! It looks amazing Julie! 🙂
Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking says
Holy mouthwatering! This looks AMAZING, Julie!
cassie - bake your day says
Holy cow, girl! I could not love this more. So creative! So happy to see you this past week, you are a doll. Looking forward to next time!
This recipe has just about everything I love in it! So good!!
Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts says
What a genius idea – I love short ribs and mushrooms, they are the perfect way to modernize a recipe!
Joanne @ Fifteen Spatulas says
When I saw this at the dinner presentation my heart skipped a bit! This recipe is pure brilliance!
shelly (cookies and cups) says
This might be the perfect food. Seriously.
Hold the phone! This is incredible! Amazing! Must make ASAP!
Rachel Cooks says
Oh my gosh — this is three of my favorite things all in one. Amazing.
[email protected] says
Hey Julie! It was so fun to get to see you at the Land O’Lakes party–and I will definitely be making this in the near future! It looks ridiculously good!
Capturing Joy with Kristen Duke says
That looks so amazing!!! I was at BHF, but am only a sometimes foodie blogger!
Kelly Senyei | Just a Taste says
Woah baby! Pass me a plate, please!
Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) says
What a delicious spin on mac and cheese!
[email protected] says
This looks unbelievably good! I’ve had short rib risotto before and loved it, but this looks even better.
Meeting you was the absolute highlight of my tips. I only wish we lived closer together!
Amanda @ MarocMama says
I hate you for sharing this recipe -ok not really I love you lots for it! I am drooling looking at the screen and am now going straight to my kitchen to make this for lunch!
Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen says
This is my kind of dinner! I would totally enjoy every last bite.
Heather | Farmgirl Gourmet says
Sometimes in life you NEED a recipe. This is it sister. Holy delish! I can’t wait to make this. It was so fabulous to finally meet you at BHF. You are amazing. xoxo ~H
Samantha @FerraroKitchen says
Perfect comfort food!! LOVE this!
Angie | Big Bear's Wife says
I can’t get over how amazing these look! ooo yum! I love mac and cheese, mushrooms and short ribs, so I KNOW we’d devour this in a heart beat! I also love the Land O Lakes half sticks! I’ve always got them in the fridge!
Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles says
I have to admit that this is the best looking mac and cheese I have EVER seen! Mushrooms and short ribs = crazy good! I loved being at this Land O’Lakes dinner with you, sharing our modernized vintage recipes!!