Macaroni and Cheese - Baked

Source: 
America's Test Kitchen
Time: 
1hr 10min
Serves: 
10
Ingredients: 
  • 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)
  • Pepper
Directions: 
  • 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.