Old fashioned scalloped potatoes and ham, an excellent recipe for an everyday meal or potluck dinner. One of my favorite comfort foods that is easily made from scratch. With these easy to follow step by step photo instructions to get it perfect the first time and every time.
Editor’s Note: This recipe was originally published April 12, 2014. So it is overdue for a buff-up. The photos have been re-edited and the text expanded with more explanation. A “new” dog picture has been added. There were no dog pictures, so this picture was taken the day before I cooked this recipe originally.
As usual, I read way too many recipes, but most were very similar. The inspiration piece will be a Pioneer Woman recipe on Food Network. But I could use several others as inspiration also. A few changes to simplify the instructions, add the step by step pictures and decrease the fat some.
I know this is cooking for two, but this fits our lifestyle. Since it is the whole meal, we will eat a double amount, and I was cooking for leftovers also.
This would be a recipe that could be easily cut in half, but for this amount of time and work, I want more return.
I had originally rated this a solid four but with the evolution of the recipe with perhaps 25 repeat cookings, it has made it to the five range. Low 5 but still a 5 for me.
Pro Tips: Recipe Notes for Scalloped Potatoes and Ham
What is Scalloped vs. Au Gratin?
Scalloped is anything baked in a casserole with a sauce that could be cheese or any other sauce. Au Gratin means “with cheese.” So this recipe could be called Scalloped or Au Gratin or Scalloped Au Gratin.
Take the cheese out and just use a white sauce and you have Scalloped but not Au Gratin. Now you know.
What cheese to use?
The original recipe called for Monterey Jack and I used that the first few times. Mostly I now use a mild cheddar. A nice Gruyere would be nice also.
Important Cooking Time Note:
The original recipes ( many of them) suggest total cooking times of 60-70 minutes. While it is “done,” there is still a little firm in the potatoes which my wife and I don’t like.
I have done this 20 plus times, and I now do a total of about 2 hours total cooking time. So I have changed the instructions but feel free to cook for the original recommended 40 minutes covered and 25 minutes uncovered if you want firmer potatoes.
Preheat oven to 350 convection or 375 conventional.
Scrub and cut 4 medium russet potatoes. Peeling is optional. Slice thin, and a mandolin is recommended.
Chop 1 small onion. Chop, slice or cut your ham into bite-size pieces.
Over medium-high heat in a medium saucepan melt 4 tablespoons butter and add the onion. Cook until clearing, about 3-4 minutes. Sprinkle in 4 tablespoons flour and mix well. Continue to cook and whisk for about 2 minutes until browning some.
Add 3 cups of milk slowly while continuing to whisk. Whisk and cook until thickening well. About 3-4 minutes. During this part, add 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
Prep a 9 by 13 inch casserole dish with a coat of butter.
Add about 1/3 of the potatoes. Top with 1/3 of the ham, 1/2 cup cheese of choice and 1/3 of the sauce. Repeat two more times but use a full cup of cheese on the top layer.
Cover with aluminum foil.
Bake for 90 minutes then uncover and cook another 20-25 minutes until nicely brown and bubbling.
Allow to set for about 10 minutes before serving.
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Originally Published April 12, 2014