Mac’n cheese is everyone’s favourite cheesy pasta dish and this version is the best yet. It’s full of delicious pulled ham hock, crispy fried onions and plenty of cheese with a really crunchy, cheesy top. This mac’n cheese is ready in 40 minutes which means you can make it any night of the week! Your whole family will love this recipe – you have to break through the crunchy, cheesy top to get to the creamy pasta that’s full of delicious salty ham hock. You can easily enjoy a serving of this macaroni with loads of leafy greens for a more balanced meal. And you can make a big batch of it and then freeze it. If you’ve got a big family, or are cooking for friends you can easily scale up and make more, as long as you’ve got a big enough casserole dish to cook it in!
- 350g macaroni pasta
- 25g butter
- 25g plain flour
- 800ml whole milk
- A little grated nutmeg
- 125g mature Cheddar, grated
- 40g crispy fried onions
- 180g cooked pulled ham hock (or leftover roast ham or pork)
- 40g dried breadcrumbs
Cook the pasta for 3 mins in boiling water, then drain, run under cold water and set aside.
Heat the oven to 180C fan,gas 6. Melt the butter in a pan, add the flour and mix constantly with a wooden spoon for 1 min, then add 200ml of the milk. Stir until smooth and thick, then add about a third of the remaining milk. Once thickened, add the rest – keep stirring until smooth. Season well, add a little nutmeg and most of the cheese – when it‘s melted, remove from the heat.
Stir in the macaroni, fried onions and ham hock, then scrape into a roasting dish. Sprinkle over the remaining cheese and breadcrumbs, and bake for 15-20 mins.
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You can easily freeze this dish, simply transfer to an oven-proof dish and stick it in the oven to warm it through whenever you want to eat it.