This Scalloped Ham and Potato Casserole is pure and classic comfort food!
My husband Jack first served a version of this recipe many years ago at one of the food establishments he managed – and it has been one of his favorite dishes ever since! Over the years, he’s adapted the recipe to the version we’re sharing with you today!
Originally, this dish was made as a traditional ‘scalloped’ potatoes recipe – with just a white sauce and no cheese added. But over the years, Jack tried adding different blends of cheeses and seasonings – and we love the addition of cheddar and Muenster cheese along with the ham and potatoes! So – some people might call this an ‘au gratin’ because of the added cheese – although technically, in culinary arts, the term au gratin refers to a dish that has a topping of seasoned breadcrumbs and cheese, that is then baked or broiled until golden brown. (Our recipe doesn’t add breadcrumbs to the top.)
Phew! Still with me? (Scalloped = White sauce. Au Gratin = Cheese and bread crumbs and a golden brown top. Our Casserole = White sauce with cheese and no bread crumbs.)
Whether you decide to call this an au gratin or scalloped ham and potato casserole, this dish is a wonderful, comforting weeknight family meal! You can serve it along with a salad or green vegetables (we love it with our Perfect Asparagus recipe!) for a complete meal. Or – it can also be served as a side dish, without the ham, alongside your choice of roasted meat. I hope you love this recipe as much as we do!Print
While baking, if the top browns before the potatoes are tender, cover with foil for the last few minutes of cooking time.
- 2 pounds peeled Russet potatoes*
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dry
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ cups heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon white pepper
- Few drops hot sauce such as Tabasco or Cholula
- ¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- Few grinds fresh nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon Colman’s dry mustard
- 8 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
- 1 pound Black Forest or Virginia ham, sliced thin
- 8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese (not fresh mozzarella)
- Using a mandolin or sharp knife, peel and slice the potatoes to 1/8 inch thick. Hold in a bowl of cold water but pat dry when ready to use.
- In a medium pot over medium heat, melt butter and add onions, parsley and thyme. Sauté for about three minutes or until onions are starting to become translucent. Lower heat to medium, add flour and stir. Cook for about three more minutes or until raw flour smell is gone.
- Add cream, salt, pepper, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, nutmeg, mustard powder and 1 ½ cups of the shredded cheddar cheese. Stir over medium heat until cheese melts into sauce then remove from heat.
- Heat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a two-three quart pan or casserole dish spray with pan spray. (Our casserole dish was an oval 12x9x3-inches.)
- Start by ladling a small amount of sauce into the bottom of the pan. Shingle one quarter of the potatoes over the sauce, covering the bottom. Cover that with one third of the ham. Next cover with one third of the remaining sauce and another quarter of potatoes and half of the shredded mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers by next adding another third of ham, another third of the sauce, another quarter of the potato, the final third of ham, the final half of the mozzarella, the final quarter of potatoes and the last of the sauce. Sprinkle the top with the remaining shredded cheddar.**
- Bake uncovered for one hour and 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender when poked with a fork or skewer. Let the casserole sit for 30 minutes to set up.
- Spoon into portions and serve.***
*Russet are low moisture, high starch potatoes and should not be substituted.
**I found it easier to divide the ingredients into piles before layering so I could get even amounts. For example, I divided the ham into three piles, the potatoes into four and so on.
***There will be some liquid after baking and resting. This gets absorbed into the casserole as it cools so no need to remove.
You may also like: