America's Test Kitchen
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 cups breadcrumbs (we used panko)
- 1 lb elbow macaroni
- 1 cup cubed ham
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard, dissolved in 1 teaspoon water
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 6 tablespoons flour
- 3.5 cups whole milk
- 1.75 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 lb Colby cheese, shredded (4 cups)
- 8 oz extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (2 cups)
- Preheat oven to 400°
- Melt 2 tablespoons of butter and toss with breadcrumbs
- Cook macaroni until tender but firm to the bite, drain and leave in colander
- Add remaining 6 tablespoons butter to pot and melt over medium heat
- Stir in garlic, mustard mixture, and cayenne. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds
- Stir in flour and cook until golden brown, about 1 minute
- Slowly whisk in milk and broth and bring to simmer.
- Cook, whisking often, until the mixture is slightly thickened, about 6 minutes
- Off of heat, whisk in Colby and cheddar until completely melted.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Stir in drained macaroni, breaking up any clumps until well combined
- Stir in cubed ham
- Pour into a 9"x13" baking dish.
- Sprinkle with breadcrumbs
- Bake until golden brown and bubbling around the edges, 25-30 minutes
- Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.