Main Dish

Mac and Cheese with Pulled Ham

Holdredge Wines

51 Front Street
Healdsburg, CA 95448

We love mac and cheese with Pinot Noir - always have, always will! And of course we love The Pig. This year we're combining our love for both and hope you enjoy the flavors and texture of slow cooked, pulled ham with fontina mac and cheese. It pairs perfectly with the Holdredge Russian River Valley Pinot Noir from Bucher Vineyard, grown here in Healdsburg. Buon appetito! John & Carri Holdredge

The Ham

  • 1 lightly smoked bone-in fully cooked ham, about 6 pounds
  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
The ham is best cooked in a slow cooker, as instructed below, but it can be baked in a tightly covered pan in the oven at 275°F. If using the oven method, start checking the ham after 4 hours of cooking. If you use a smaller ham, it will cook a little faster as well.

To prepare the ham, rub the ham on all sides with the brown sugar, packing it so it adheres. Place in a slow cooker and add the water. Cover and cook on medium-high according to the manufacturer's instructions for 6 to 8 hours. Turn the ham once halfway through cooking and occasionally check to see if the meat will pull apart with a fork; if it does, then it is done. 

Transfer the ham to a cutting board and let cool to room temperature, then pull the meat apart. Mix with the juices on the bottom of the slow cooker. 

You will have extra ham, so enjoy the rest in sandwiches or rice dishes.

Mac and Cheese with Pulled Ham

  • 3 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 5 cups milk, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1 pound fontina cheese, grated
  • 1 teaspoon Colman's dry mustard
  • 3/4 pound pulled ham (recipe above)
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely ground white pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more, to taste
  • 6 cups elbow macaroni, cooked according to package instructions
  • 1 1/2 cups herbed bread crumbs (recipe below)
To prepare the mac and cheese, in a heavy saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 10 minutes, being careful that it does not brown. Let cool slightly.  

Add the wine and 1/2 cup of the milk to the butter-flour mixture and stir until smooth. Add another 1/2 cup milk and stir again until smooth. Increase the heat to medium and slowly stir in the remaining milk and the cream to ensure that no lumps form. While stirring, bring to a simmer; the mixture should thicken as it simmers. Be sure to stir in the corners and the bottom of the pan to prevent the bottom from burning. Simmer until the mixture is smooth and silky, at least 20 minutes. If there are any lumps, strain the mixture and return it to the pan over medium-low heat. 

Stir in the cheese, mustard, pulled ham and white pepper. Add the salt and taste, adding more salt if needed. Remove from the heat. Add the cooked macaroni to the cheese sauce and stir until well combined.  

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375°F.  

Transfer the mac and cheese mixture to a 9-inch square ceramic baking dish. Top with the bread crumbs. Bake until bubbling hot and crispy-golden brown on top.

Enjoy with a glass of Holdredge Pinot Noir!

Herbed Bread Crumbs

  • 1 1/2 cups panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
  • 1 teaspoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
In a bowl, stir together the panko, butter, thyme, oregano, salt and pepper. 

Holdredge Wines

51 Front Street
Healdsburg, CA 95448