The "Doe" Mac 'n Cheese

1 lb elbow macaroni
4 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup flour
Sea salt and pepper to taste
4 cups Deer Creek The Doe Cheddar cheese, shredded
3 cups whole milk
8 oz DLM Ham Steak, diced
1-2 Tbsp fresh thyme, chopped

Preheat oven to 350F. Butter a 3-quart baking dish. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boil over high heat. Add the pasta. Cook until the pasta is just al dente. Drain and set aside.

In a large sauce pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add 1/4 cup flour to the melted butter, stirring to form a roux. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Let the roux cook for 2 to 3 minutes stirring often. Gradually whisk in the milk. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring frequently, until it begins to thicken. Remove the pan from the heat and add the shredded cheese. Let the heat of the sauce melt the cheese and stir often until sauce is smooth, stirring until the cheese has melted and the sauce is smooth.

Add the cooked pasta and the diced ham to the sauce. Mix well. Taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary. Spoon the pasta into the buttered baking dish and bake until the sauce is bubbly, approximately 20 minutes.

Spoon the macaroni and cheese into individual serving-sized dishes and garnish with a sprinkling of chopped thyme.

Makes 4-6 servings

Allergy Warning: Contains milk and wheat