Is there anything that isn't delicious with a white sauce? And when you throw ham, potatoes and cheese with it, really, how can you go wrong? This classic escalloped potatoes and ham recipe is a tasty home-cooked meal to fill up on after a busy day.
You could also make it ahead and bake it later.
Below I've added a note to make this gluten-free / grain-free!
Classic Escalloped Potatoes and Ham
- 6 organic potatoes (potatoes are on the “Dirty Dozen” list of produce to not buy conventional because they're highly sprayed with chemical pesticides)
- 1/2 cup whey (Where to get whey)
- 1-2 cups ham broth (or chicken broth) (find pastured meats here)
- Ham pieces, about 1 cup
- 8 ounces butter (pastured butter is best)
- 1/2 finely chopped onion
- About 7 Tablespoons flour (I used Einkorn flour but also sometimes use part sprouted flour) — To make this gluten free/grain free – substitute the flour with 4 Tablespoons sorghum flour and 4 Tablespoons brown rice flour – it will be almost as yummy and likely your family won't know the difference!
- 3 cups cream or milk, or a combination, whatever you have on hand
- Optional: 1/2 to 1 cup shredded cheese (any kind you like) to make it a cheesy dish
- Sea salt, pepper, garlic powder, and other seasonings to your taste
The night before, or at least 7 hours ahead, clean, slice, and soak potatoes in a bowl full of filtered water and about a half cup of whey. This takes away of some of the starch in the potatoes. I used my Bosch to slice the potatoes nice and thin – it helped them to cook a lot faster in the oven, and they got crispy-licious. I made a bigger batch and it took *literally* 2 minutes to slice 10 potatoes! I'm going to use this soon to make homemade potato chips again, yum! (Note: if you forget this part and peel your potatoes right before making the recipe, it'll still be good, just more starchy!)
I had a bone-in ham steak, so cut the ham into pieces (reserve for later) and then brown the bone on both sides, add it to a pan half-full of water and a splash of raw apple cider vinegar (this draws more minerals out of the bone) and then cook for 2-6 hours or so. I boiled it down to about a cup. (Or use chicken broth.)
An hour or so before you are ready to eat, it's time to make a white sauce. Begin by melting butter in a medium saucepan on low-medium heat. Add onion and cook 'til light brown. Add flour and stir well. Now add broth, and cook on low heat while stirring constantly. As it thickens again, add cream or milk slowly while you keep stirring and then add the optional cheese. Keep stirring and keep it on low or it sticks and can burn to the bottom of the pan easily. Add seasonings to your taste. We like plenty of sea salt, pepper, and a dash or two of garlic powder. Taste-test to get this right – if you do, it'll make the whole thing perfect.
Strain and rinse the potatoes, rinse out the bowl, and in this big bowl, stir together the potatoes, ham and sauce. Spoon into a greased 9×13 glass dish.
How you bake this depends… If you want to just put it in the oven and forget about it, put it in at 350* for an hour, maybe more depending on how thin you sliced your potatoes and how fast they cook – check to make sure they're done through. If you like it browned up really well and crispy in spots like I do, then crank your oven up to 500* and keep a good eye on it. It'll get brown on top fast, so stay close and you'll need to flip potatoes under or over so nothing burns, but this way it'll have a nice flavorful crispiness and be done in 45 minutes to an hour.
Is this how you make your escalloped potatoes? (Or ‘cheesy potatoes'?)
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