On a recent trip to London we stayed at The London Edition hotel and decided to have lunch at the attached restaurant, Berners Tavern. I didn’t know what to expect before I sat down but I can confidently say that it was some of the most delicious food I’ve ever eaten — More specifically, the mac and cheese topped with braised beef blade was some of the best mac and cheese I’ve ever had (and that means a lot coming from a southern, mac and cheese loving girl).
I’ve been dreaming about the mac and cheese since we left London and decided I wanted to attempt to recreate the recipe on my own! The mac and cheese at Berner’s Tavern is ultra creamy and has a distinctly pungent and tangy taste. It’s topped with wine-braised beef and crunchy breadcrumbs. I love the use of rigatoni instead of elbows for the pasta!
I got to work and if I can be honest, my recipe is pretty close to the original! It’s got a perfect combination of savory, creamy, and crunchy. I use gorgonzola cheese to add that tangy taste and use a base of heavy cream to make it ultra creamy. For the beef I used boneless chuck shoulder roast and cut it into cubes before brasing it in red wine and beef broth.
If you’re a lover of cast iron cookware like I am, this is a perfect recipe for you. While the braised beef and mac and cheese can be made with any type of heavy bottomed cookware, I recommend using cast iron. I used an enamel coated dutch oven for the braised beef and a standard cast iron pan for the mac and cheese.
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I’ll give you a heads up, this recipe isn’t one you can whip together in 30 minutes. I recommend this one for a Sunday dinner. The beef can be made ahead and reheated the. Keep in mind that the beef braises in the oven for about 3 hours.
Below you will find 3 separate recipes. One for the combined recipe, one for the standalone braised beef, and one for the standalone gorgonzola mac and cheese.
I hope you enjoy this as much as I do!
Mac and Cheese with Braised Beef
1 Recipe Wine Braised Boneless Chuck Shoulder Roast (See below)
1 Recipe Gorgonzola Mac and Cheese (See below)
3 slices sourdough bread
2 tablespoons butter
DirectionsTurn oven broiler on high with oven rack set to the lower third of the oven.
Place sourdough bread in a food processor and pulse until the bread has turned into coarse breadcrumbs.
Place the butter in a medium microwavable bowl. Melt in the microwave, about 45 seconds.
Add the breadcrumbs to the bowl with butter and mix until the breadcrumbs are fully coated.
Evenly spread the braised beef on top of the mac and cheese. Then top with the buttered breadcrumbs.
Place in the lower 3rd of the oven. Let broil 3-4 minutes or until the breadcrumbs are crispy (all broilers are different so check often to avoid burning).
Remove from oven and serve.
Gorgonzola Mac and Cheese
8 oz dried rigatoni
1/4 cup milk
6 oz crumbled gorgonzola or blue cheese, divided
16 oz heavy cream, divided
1 tbl spicy brown mustard
1/2 tsp worcestershire sauce
5 oz shredded white cheddar cheese
2 oz grated parmesan
DirectionsPreheat oven to 300° F.
Cook rigatoni al dente in highly salted water and according to package instructions.
Meanwhile, add the milk, 4 oz of the gorgonzola, and 1/4 cup of the heavy cream in a blender or food processor. Blend until just combined (do not overmix).
Pour the gorgonzola mixture into a large bowl, then add in remaining heavy cream, mustard, and worcestershire sauce. Whisk until well combined.
Once cooked, drain the rigatoni but do not rinse. Pour the pasta into the large bowl and mix until well coated. Add in the remaining gorgonzola, half of the cheddar cheese, and half of the parmesan cheese. Stir until combined.
Pour the pasta mixture into a baking dish and top with remaining white cheddar and parmesan cheese. Bake for 30 minutes.
Let rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.
Wine Braised Boneless Chuck Shoulder Roast
1.75 lbs boneless chuck shoulder roast, cut into 1.5 inch cubes
3 celery ribs, diced
1 medium onion, diced
6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 tbl butter
1 tbl neutral oil
6 sprigs thyme
2.5 cups dry red wine, divided
2.5 cups beef broth, divided (plus more as needed)
Kosher salt and pepper to taste
DirectionsPreheat oven to 300° F.
Season beef with kosher salt to taste and set aside for a minimum of 30 minutes. Pat try with a paper towel and season with pepper to taste.
In a large cast iron or heavy bottomed skillet, melt butter with the oil over medium-high heat. Once the butter has melted, add the beef to the pan and sear on all sides (meat should not be cooked through). This step can be completed in batches to avoid overcrowing the pan. Remove beef from pan and set aside.
Lower heat to medium and add onions, celery, and 1/2 tsp salt. Cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and then cook until aromatic, about 1 minute.
Deglaze the pan with 1.5 cups of wine and cook on high for 3 minutes, scraping any stuck on bits.
Add thyme to the pan and then add the meat and and any juices back in. Add in 1.5 cups of beef broth (or more as needed to bring the liquid level to 1/3 height of the meat).
Increase the heat to high and bring the liquid to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, turn off the heat, cover, and place in the oven to braise for a total of 2 hours and 45 minutes, flipping after each hour. The beef should be very tender but not falling apart.
Once cooked. Remove the beef from the pan and set aside.
Skim any fat from the remaining brasing liquid and add 1 additional cup of wine or broth. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Let simmer for 6-8 minutes until the sauce thickens. Strain the liquid (discarding the onions, garlic, celery, and thyme) and return the liquid back to the pan. Add the beef back to the pan and toss to coat.