Thursday, 5 November 2009

My Best Macaroni Cheese & Ham.

No cycling today as I'm going to work through lunch on this damned tender I have to get out, so time for another recipe I reckon.

My wife makes a mean Macaroni Cheese with sliced Tomato's in it which I love. For a change a few weeks ago I found the following recipe on a website and fancied I could do it for the family. Its a lot different to the way my wife makes it and the result is a lot lighter (not as thick and filling) this way. I made the mistake of chucking a whole 500g bag of Macaroni pasta in the pot and our family of 4 had enough of the meal left over to feed a platoon of highly trained pasta eaters from the spaghetti nebula. And thats with everyone eating seconds too! Maybe for this reason the sauce was lighter, who knows.

I changed the recipe around a bit from what it originally was as they had the flour added before the milk and stock. I found that when I added the flour it went very lumpy no matter how slow I added it or hard I stirred. I reasoned that there wasnt enough fluid in the pan to seperate the mixture so I've swapped that bit around which should work better. It'll save a half hour of cursing with a spatula as you try to pound the lumps out anyway.

Oh and two more things; I add a glug of Extra Virgin Light Olive Oil to the pasta water to stop it sticking and boiling over in the saucepan. It actually works. Also make sure you have a big enough tray to put all the pasta in when you come to putting it in the oven or you'll have the problem I had - loads left in the pan (which is still edible the next day. woot!).


300g Macaroni
50g Butter
1 clove of Garlic, crushed
1 tsp Mustard
1/2 tsp Paprika
50g Plain Flour
400ml Milk
200ml vegetable stock
300g ham hock, cooked or ham slices shredded.
80g Cheddar Cheese, grated
80g Gruyère Cheese, grated

Serves 4 (but just adding more pasta makes enough for 6)
Preparation time about 5-10 minutes, Cooking time about 40 minutes.

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4. However our fan oven is like a mini nuke so I do it at 150C.
2. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Cook the macaroni until it is al dente. Drain and set aside.
3. Melt the butter in a pan, add the garlic, mustard and pimentón. Cook well.
4. Add the milk and vegetable stock then add the flour and cook until the sauce thickens
5. Turn off the heat and add half of the grated cheese (40g of each type) and stir it to melt. Season with salt and pepper.
6. Shred the cooked ham hock into the sauce. I couldn't get this when I made it so used cooked ham slices torn up which worked great.
7. Add the macaroni and mix well. Put it into a baking dish and sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top.
8. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
9. Serve and enjoy.


  1. That sounds delicious. Home made Mac and cheese is one of my favorite meals!

  2. Try it out. I promise you'll like it. We have baked beans with it. The Gruyere pongs a bit when you grate it and I wouldn't normally buy it except in this dish. TBH I couldn't taste it after it was cooked so it might be that you dont need that cheese at all.

  3. I think we will
    PASS on the beans...