Ham and Cabbage Macaroni Cheese

Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes

Servings 4


1 ham hock

½ a small savoy cabbage

Pinch caraway seeds

1 whole onion

500g macaroni pasta

50g butter

50g plain flour

500ml milk

2 tbsp seeded mustard

Pinch freshly grated nutmeg

250g cheddar or Gruyère cheese, grated

40g parmesan, grated

1 cup fresh breadcrumbs


Place the ham hock into a large pot. Cover with plenty of water and bring to a boil, then add the cabbage, a pinch of caraway seeds and onion studded with 3 cloves. Turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer gently for 2 hours, or until the meat falls easily off the bone. Remove the ham hock and once cool enough to handle, discard the skin and fat and shred the meat from the bones. Set the ham aside until needed. Roughly chop the cabbage and onion.

Add the butter to a pot over medium heat and melt until foaming. Whisk in the flour to make a roux. Continue to stir for a minute to cook out the raw flour taste. Little by little whisk in the milk and 2 ladlefuls of the ham hock stock. Keep whisking until the sauce comes to a boil and thickens. Take off the heat and mix in the mustard, nutmeg and cheeses (reserving a small handful of each for the topping).

In a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add cook until the pasta is al dente. Drain well.

Preheat the grill in the oven.

Fold the pasta into the sauce, coating the pasta well, then fold in the ham pieces and roughly chopped cabbage. Pour into a gratin dish and sprinkle over breadcrumbs and reserved cheese. Grill until golden brown.


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