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 (or cheesy potatoes) is a tasty home-cooked comforting 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
Yield 1 9x13 Pan
- 6-8 organic potatoes (potatoes are on the “Dirty Dozen” list of produce to not buy conventional because they're so highly sprayed with chemicals)
- 1/2 cup whey (Where to get whey)
- 2 cups ham in small pieces (find safe, pastured meats here if you don't have a good local source) -- you can use ham that is already cooked or not, because it'll bake in the oven
- Optional: one head of broccoli, cleaned and chopped (you'll need more like 6 potatoes if you use broccoli, so you'll have enough room in the baking dish)
- 3/4 cup butter (pastured butter is best)
- 1/2 finely chopped onion
- 3/4 cup flour (I used organic Einkorn flour mostly now, you could also use organic unbleached all-purpose flour) — To make this gluten free/grain free – use this Keto cheese sauce recipe instead!
- 3 cups cream or milk, or a combination, whatever you have on hand (you could also use part ham broth or chicken broth for even more nutrients)
- Optional: 1-2 cups shredded cheese (any kind you like) to make it cheesy-licious
- Sea salt, pepper, garlic powder, and other seasonings to your taste
- Also optional for the top: 1 cup bread crumbs mixed with 6 Tablespoons melted butter
The night before, or at least 7 hours ahead, clean potatoes, cut off the bad spots, slice, and soak them 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.)
Make the sauce:
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan, add the onions and sauté until they're soft and just starting to become golden brown. Add the flour and keep stirring as it cooks for 1-2 minutes, don't let it burn. Slowly add in the milk and it will become a wonderful thick sauce. (If you pour it in too quickly it'll be very thin.) Add the cheese if desired, stir until melted, and season it up until it tastes really dreamy to you.
Strain and rinse the potatoes, rinse out the bowl, and in this big bowl, stir together the potatoes, optional broccoli, ham and sauce. Spoon into a buttered 9×13 glass dish.
Bake at 375* for 60-90 minutes, depending on how thin you sliced your potatoes – check with a fork to make sure the potatoes are soft. For the last 10-15 minutes, add bread crumbs if desired, then finish baking until they're golden.
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