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BackstoryThis is comfort food at its best. Sometimes I add one bell pepper, thinly sliced and layered in with the potatoes.
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 2 cups half and half
- 2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese: 1 for the sauce and 1 to sprinkle on top
- 6 medium potatoes (about 2 pounds, I like Russet, Yukon Gold, or White Rose potatoes)
- 2 cups cooked ham cubed
- If you are in a hurry, boil the potato slices on the stove top for 15 minutes and drain them well. Then assemble as below and bake for 30 minutes with no cover.
- In a saucepan over medium low heat melt the butter. Stir in the flour, salt, and pepper until smooth. Gradually add the half and half, whisking until the sauce is smooth and begins to thicken. Add cheese and stir until melted. Taste for seasoning and re-season as necessary. Turn the burner off.
- Slice up the potatoes into rounds. A mandolin works well here to get nice even slices.
- Spray a 9"x13" casserole dish with non-stick spray or butter it and fill it with alternating layers of potatoes, ham, and sauce, in that order. You should have enough for 2 layers. Top with remaining cheese.
- Bake covered in a preheated 375 degree oven for 45 minutes.
- Remove cover and bake 20 minutes longer or until the potatoes are tender and the top is golden.