What do you do when you have 10 pounds of holiday ham leftover from the holidays with 2 adults and a fussy eating toddler? You make ham and scalloped potatoes! This dish has to be one of my absolutely favorites, right behind macaroni and cheese, from childhood. My version builds on the essence of my mom’s recipe but is a little more complex. My mom’s version is easier. She wouldn’t make a real white sauce she’d put pats of butter, flour and milk in the pan and let the white sauce get make “in situ”. I make a full fledged white sauce for mine.
Some key tips when making this.
- Its really important when you’re making this dish you have enough white sauce. Otherwise the potatoes won’t cook properly.
- Its also REALLY important to not over season the sauce because the ham is going to make things salty. So if your making this up yourself and the white sauce recipe says ANYTHING about salt. Don’t add it.
- Uniformly thin potatoes are crucial to getting them cooked properly. Use a mandolin and cut them 1/8 of an inch thick. Please be CAREFUL with the mandolin!!! You can cut the, really bad curse word, milder curse word, out of yourself. I’ve had a mandolin related ER visit that I urge your to NOT to re-enact.
- Lastly, a lot of people like sliced ham for this recipe but IMHO that’s a waste. Sliced ham leftovers can be used for sandwiches. So I use diced up bits of ham and scraps when I make this.
Scallop Potatoes with Ham
2 cups diced cooked ham
2 large russet potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/8 inch thick
1 medium onion diced
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 1/4 cups milk, room temperature not cold
1 tsp ground black pepper
- Preheat oven at 350
- Spray 9×11 pan with cooking spray
- Layer potatoes and ham until all is used up
- Melt butter in saucepan and add onions to saute
- Add flour and create a roux
- Add milk 1/3 at a time
- Cook until sauce thickens and is bubbly
- Spread white sauce over 9×11 pan of potatoes and ham
- Sprinkle ground pepper on top
- Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 45 minutes
This iteration of mine was a little too juicy because I pre-sliced the potatoes and put them in water to keep them from browning. I didn’t drain and dry them sufficiently before I started layering them in the pan. Also I had more potatoes than I wanted for the amount of sauce I was making so it thinned the sauce a bit so I’d have more. My personal opinion is if you have to alter on the fly making sure you have enough sauce so your potatoes cook is more important than having thick sauce.