Thursday, April 19, 2012

Scalloped Potatoes and Ham, New England Style...

This is not easy-peasy.

It's not hard, either.

Just takes a little time. And feel free to cut the recipe in half, this one makes a big 13 x 9 or 15 x 10 casserole full. I think I actually used about six pounds of potatoes and my leftover spiral ham from Easter... Oh, yum!!!

I love my Cuisinart Food Processor. I told you how Lacey gave it to me for Christmas two years ago, right? Because Mandy bought me a blender and it came with a FREE FOOD PROCESSOR...

Such a deal!!!!  EXCEPT.... that the food processor didn't lock together, and it would come loose, and Lacey was fairly certain I would decapitate some small child when the whole thing blew apart some day...

Hence the Cuisinart edition which I love!!!!!

So here's the recipe, which is perfect when you have some left-over ham or pork chops hangin' 'round.

Potatoes (I usually do a big batch, so figure five pounds or so. I like nice big, firm russets or Idaho)
2 sticks butter
1/2 cup flour
Salt/pepper to taste
1 small onion, chopped fine-to-medium
4 cups milk
2 cups shredded cheese
Leftover ham or pork, cut or broken into bite-sized pieces (or leave it meat-free for my veggie-tarian buds!!!!)

Peel potatoes, place in pot of cold water so they don't oxidize. (turn brown)

Chop onions...

Melt butter in sturdy 3-4 quart kettle. Add onion and flour and allow to cook over low heat until onion is transparent, about five minutes.

 Add milk, whisk together, allow to heat on low-medium heat. Mixture will thicken somewhat, but thickens more with baking later...

Now the fun part!!!

For smaller batch use 8" x 8" or 9" x 13" pans, greased. For my batch I'm using the 15" x 10" Pyrex casserole dish I love!!!

Put 1/3 of potatoes through food processor 'slice' blade...

Lay them in pan.

Toss half of the ham/pork over them. Ladle about 1/3 of the sauce over this first layer. Sprinkle with half of the cheese.  Repeat: Potatoes, meat, cream sauce, cheese. Final layer should be potatoes topped with cream sauce. (Cheese browns too much on the top layer).

Cover with foil, bake at 400 degrees for about an hour and fifteen minutes, then remove the foil and allow top to brown for about 15 minutes more...  Total prep and cooking time is a couple of hours, but it's so stinkin' down home delicious that it's totally worth it.

And it smells so good while it's cooking, all creamy-potatoey-oniony!!!!

Of course I forgot to take a pic when it came out of the oven. I blame Beth. I told her to remind me, therefore it's her fault, right????  So I borrowed this pic, but mine was bigger...:)
It makes Dave smile.

It makes everyone smile!!!


  1. Mmmmm, yum! We're getting another cold spell this weekend so I think I'm going to make me some scalloped potatoes. I haven't had them in years and have never been successful making them...but I never made the heated sauce. Just dumped in milk so maybe that's why. :-)

  2. Kav, I did that early on, too... And it came out weird... It was a recipe that was easy-peasy (although they weren't cool enough to use that term THEN!!!!) and it just wasn't good...

    But this is amazing. Very old-fashioned, wonderful-tasting.

    And it's just as good without the ham/pork. I make these for picnics, for showers, etc... A crowd pleaser!

  3. Yummo!! This is different from how I've made it. And I'm like Kav, I've had some unsuccessful batches. So I'll be sure to try your version, Ruthy!

  4. This is definitely the ultimate comfort food!

    (along with macaroni and cheese, of course)

    I used to hate making scalloped potatoes - until my dear husband bought me a food processor for Christmas one year. Now the hardest part is making sure I have enough potatoes on hand - the ham is optional :)

    I haven't tried making the sauce ahead of time, though. I've always made it the way my grandmother did, but those results are never covered-dish dinner worthy, so I'll have to try your method, Ruthy!

    I'm off to read about perseverance again. Did you all catch Mary Curry's blog?

  5. Yum! Can somebody say comfort food. Oh wait, Jan already did. Yes, this is the kind of dish I would sneak off of the buffet and retreat to a quiet corner.

    Ruthy, I know you'll be so ashamed of me, but I've never made scalloped or au gratin potatoes from scratch. Only the Betty Crocker variety. I keep telling myself that one of these days I will. Still hasn't happened.

    But I'm printing this recipe and putting it in my file. Because when that day comes, I'm all over this one.

    1. You will love it. I promise. It's just got a salt of the earth texture and taste... And hey, I've used the boxed dehydrated varieties, too! They're a fun side dish when life is just crazy busy....

      But this would go great with a barbecue, Mindy... A little Tex with a touch of New England propriety.


    2. "New England propriety"


      I just had a vision of what the oh-so-proper ladies in our church in Texas would have said to that!

      Change that snicker to a guffaw! I KNOW they wouldn't be using proper words!

    3. Maybe I should explain...the only time I ever heard one of those ladies use a four-letter word was when she was talking about Yankees.

      And NOT the baseball team.

    4. We Yanks take it on the chin all the time, Jan-baby!!! But we love us some scalloped potatoes, big time! ;)