Montréal steak spice is not only for smoked meat or to season your butcher’s favourite cut of beef. It is also delicious as a replacement for the celery salt you would use to rim the glass of your Bloody Caesar and to use on your braised meats, like pork shoulder. You can even sprinkle it on a delicious mac and cheese. Here is the fourth and last recipe in this little series of side dishes for your BBQ partys or potlucks. But, this mac and cheese can be eaten all year round really, as a side or as a meal accompanied by a fresh salad. This recipe is definitely not a quick one. It has many steps, but I guarantee you that if you make it for your friends you won’t have any leftovers (cause they gon’ eat it all) and you will be their new favourite person.

Now that the mornings and nights are getting cooler, my recipes will be filled with apples picked from local orchards that still taste of the sun, of pumpkins and squashes all uglier from one to the next and comforting spices like cinnamon, probably mixed in a cup of hot chocolate that I will sip outside, wrapped in a soft blanket, watching the leaves changing colours.

adapted from Dyan’s Mac and Cheese
10-12 servings


3 tbsp olive oil or butter
1.3 kg pork shoulder
2 tsp salt
2 tsp Montréal steak spice
340 ml beer

1 cup of beer caramelized onions (recipe here)

454 g of mushrooms of choice
a sprinkle of salt

1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups whole milk
1/2 cup 35% cream
1/2 cup shredded cheddar
1/2 cup shredded gruyère
1/4 cup parmesan
1 tbsp whole grain mustard
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper powder
1 1/2 tsp kosher or fine sea salt
1/8 tsp black pepper

454 g of dried macaroni pasta
a good pinch of salt for the water
1 cup shredded cheddar
1 cup shredded gruyère
2 tbsp unsalted butter melted
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup shredded parmesan
1 1/2 tsp montreal steak spice



Heat the oven to 275°F. Sprinkle a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of steak spice on each side of the pork shoulder and rub all over with your hands. Place the olive oil or butter in a big Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed oven safe pot and heat on the stove top over medium high heat. Use tongs to add the meat in the Dutch oven. Let it sear for about 5 minutes on each side to get a good crust on it. Turn off the heat of the stove top and slowly pour the beer to the side of the meat, not to wash the seasoning off. The pot is hot, so make sure you do so carefully to avoid hot liquid splashing on you. Cover the pot with its lid or aluminium foil. Place the meat in the oven and cook for 3 hours. Check after 30 minutes to make sure that the liquid at the bottom of the pot is simmering, not boiling. After 3 hours, you should be able to take a fork and shred the meat easily. Shred it all in the liquid and leave it to cool down while you’re doing the other steps.


Follow this recipe. Then let the onions cool to room temperature.


Heat the oven to 350°F. Thinly slice the mushrooms and place them in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle with salt and insert the pan in the oven. Cook until they’ve released all of their moisture and they look pretty dry. I cooked mine for 25 minutes.


Place the butter in a saucepan and let it melt over medium heat. Sprinkle the flour and immediately stir with a whisk, cooking for a minute to cook the flour and get rid of its unpleasant taste. Add a cup of the milk and whisk until the flour and butter mixture is dissolved and the texture is smooth and rich. Add the rest of the milk and the cream. Whisk every 30 seconds or so to make sure it doesn’t burn or stick to the bottom and let the sauce thicken. It took me about 5 minutes. Then, turn off the heat and add the rest of the ingredients for the sauce. Whisk until the cheeses are melted and you have a smooth texture. Transfer the sauce to a bowl or plastic container and let it cool.


Bring water to a boil in a big pot with a big pinch of salt and boil the macaroni according to the instructions on the package. Strain the pasta and place them on a baking sheet so that they can cool down. In a separate bowl, mix the melted butter, breadcrumbs, parmesan and steak spice.

Now, you’ve done all the hard work of prepping everything and it’s gonna pay off really soon. Heat the oven to 375°F. Grab the biggest bowl you have and add the pasta, pork, caramelized onions, mushrooms, cheesy sauce, and shredded cheeses. Mix with a wooden spoon and dump all of this goodness in a large skillet or a big baking dish. Top with the seasoned breadcrumbs. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the breadcrumbs are golden brown. You can bake the mac and cheese ahead of time and reheat it in the oven at 375°F for about 20 minutes before serving.

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Hi! I’m Steph. Originally from Montréal, I moved to Toronto in 2015. I spend my days working at the most quaint Swedish coffee shop making cinnamon buns and adding cardamom to everything I bake. In this blog, I want to share with you recipes that remind me of home, travel stories filled with new food discoveries and the restaurants, coffee shops and bakeries I love to visit most in my new city.