Braised Ham and OKA L'Artisan Mac & Cheese — Week 13: Comfort Food

With colder weather, it’s time for warm, comforting meals. Braised and simmered dishes, with their delicious aromas, never fail to bring back fond childhood memories for me.

In keeping with this week’s Comfort Food theme, this mac & cheese is perfect for colder days. It’s made with gently braised shredded ham, peas, and a creamy OKA L'Artisan cheese sauce.

Garnished with fried eggs, it’s my cocooning version of macaroni and cheese, inspired by the classic French Croque-Madame open-faced sandwich. Comfort food par excellence.


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).

  2. In a pot, melt the butter and soften the onion and garlic for 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.  
  3. Add the flour and stir for 1 minute, making sure the flour doesn’t brown.
  4. Gradually add the milk and cream, beating with a whisk to obtain a smooth sauce. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring regularly until sauce thickens.

  5. Mix half of the cheese, grated, with the pasta, ham, peas and herb.
  6. Pour into an ovenproof dish.
  7. Top with rest of the cheese, sliced.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes or until topping is melted and golden. Garnish each serving with a fried egg and bread cubes, previously sautéed in the butter until crispy.

Johanne Depelteau

Longueuil, Quebec

Johanne, a passionate lover of the culinary arts, has been working in television broadcasting, publishing, magazine writing and advertising for many years.

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