Photo: Hector Sanchez; Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas 
Hands-on Time
40 Mins
Total Time
1 Hour 25 Mins
Makes 8 to 10 servings

Smoky cubes of brined city ham and salty bits of country ham give this main-course mac its name and savory appeal. Pasta enrobed with a creamy sauce and melting pockets of gooey cheese take it over the top.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare pasta according to package directions for al dente.

Step 2

Stir together smoked ham and country ham. Sauté half of ham mixture in 1 Tbsp. hot oil in a large skillet 7 to 8 minutes or until lightly browned. Repeat with remaining ham mixture and oil.

Step 3

Melt 6 Tbsp. butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and next 5 ingredients, and sauté 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add flour, and cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes or until golden brown and smooth. Gradually whisk in milk and cream, and bring to a boil, whisking occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, whisking constantly, 5 minutes or until slightly thickened and mixture coats a spoon. Stir in horseradish and Worcestershire sauce. Remove from heat, and stir in Cheddar cheese until melted. Stir in pasta, ham, and Gruyère; pour into a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish.

Step 4

Process breadcrumbs and 2 Tbsp. melted butter in a food processor 6 to 7 seconds to combine. Sprinkle over pasta mixture.

Step 5

Bake on an aluminum foil-lined jelly-roll pan at 350° for 30 minutes or until bubbly and golden. Remove from oven to a wire rack, and cool 15 minutes. Top with chives.

Step 6

Note: We tested with Cracker Barrel Extra Sharp Cheddar.

Ratings & Reviews

Cooking for a Crowd

May 02, 2016
We substituted 1 lb of bacon for the ham. Yes, it's relatively difficult mac 'n cheese, but it is absolutely worth it and on the "Always Requested" list.

NorthernSpie's Review

September 25, 2014
Mediocre results for such an expensive and time-consuming recipe.

terrifhostess's Review

February 22, 2014
Sorry not all things revolve around children it is a great adult recipe!

ninjagranny's Review

January 23, 2014

tikibumps's Review

January 12, 2014
This recipe was very expensive to make. And although I liked it but was not kid friendly at all. I would not make it again.