Day 11 of my 24 day Christmas cooking marathon and I’m excited to share this cheesy dish of deliciousness which is perfect for a quiet weeknight family dinner, yet fancy enough to serve to your guests. It’s also perfect for the holidays because it solves the age-old question of what to do with all that leftover ham. When my children were little, this was one of their favorite dishes. I confessed yesterday, I never met a mashed potato recipe I didn’t like, well the reality is, I never met a potato dish I didn’t like and this is no exception.
To get started, gather your ingredients which include: butter, onion, flour, milk, pepper, potatoes, ham, Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheeses, and parsley for sprinkling on top.
Add the butter and finely minced onions to a large skillet over medium-low heat and saute about 10 minutes until the onions are soft.
In the meantime, wash and scrub your potatoes and slice as thinly and as uniformly as possible. I leave the skins on. If you have a mandolin, by all means use that. The thinner the potato slice the quicker this casserole cooks. Also, cut your ham up into cubes.
Once your onions are done, sprinkle flour over the onions and whisk together. I use Julia Child’s rule of thumb here for white sauce which is 1 1/2 Tbsp of flour for every 1 cup of milk or liquid. Continue cooking the onion and flour mixture until the flour is golden brown, about 2-3 minutes.
Stir in your milk and keep whisking to prevent lumps. Cook until the sauce has thickened which usually only takes a few minutes. Add pepper, mix well and remove from the heat. You can add a pinch of salt at this point, but with the cheeses and ham, this dish is already pretty salty.
Spray a medium size casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray or butter the dish. Add half of your sliced potatoes, then half of your cubed ham, and about half of both grated cheeses. Then pour on half of your sauce. Repeat the next layer with the remaining potatoes and ham, pour your remaining sauce over the top and sprinkle with your remaining cheeses.
Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil and bake it at 350 degrees for 40-60 minutes depending on the thickness of your potato slices. Remove the foil and test to see if your potatoes are done, by piercing them with a fork. If not done, continue cooking for another 10 minutes or so. Once the potatoes are fork tender, remove the foil completely and bake for another 20-30 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is golden brown. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.
Thank you for visiting my blog! If you make this or any of my recipes, please leave a comment and let me know how you liked it.