Tender potatoes. Melty, bubbly cheese. Salty ham. If your mouth isn’t watering already, maybe it will be when you think of all of those things together, working in harmony, in these updated scalloped potatoes.
Classic for a reason, these potatoes are delicious served with a simple roast chicken or steak. They’re also always a classic choice for a potluck or holiday table. However you decide to serve them, we promise they’ll be a hit.
In the mood for more classics? Check out our elevated tuna noodle casserole. Freezer-section fave French bread pizza also gets an update here.
Executive Chef, The Monroe
Chef Josh Oakley hesitates to modernize this staple, which was part of his mother’s regular rotation during his Upstate New York childhood. But he is a chef, after all, so he uses silky caramelized onions instead of raw, and country ham or prosciutto rather than the fresh ham of his childhood kitchen “just to elevate it a bit,” he explains.
Scalloped Potatoes and Ham
Serves 4 to 6
For the onions:
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 yellow onions, peeled, halved and julienned
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon pepper
For the casserole:
3 tablespoons butter, divided
2 tablespoons flour
1½ cups milk
4 large russet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1 cup caramelized onions
12 ounces country ham or prosciutto, shaved or sliced ¼ inch thick
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
4 sprigs thyme, leaves picked
To caramelize the onions:
- In a large pan, heat olive oil over medium heat until it shimmers. Add onions and salt and pepper and stir to evenly coat.
- Immediately reduce heat to low, and cook, stirring often, until onions are very soft and brown in color, about 90 minutes.
To make the casserole:
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Grease a glass casserole dish with 1 tablespoon of the butter.
- Melt the other 2 tablespoons butter in a pan. Whisk in the flour and cook on low for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Whisk in the milk and bring it to a simmer. Continue simmering until it thickens a bit.
- Spread one-third of the thickened milk mixture in the bottom of the baking dish.
- Add the potatoes, cooked onions, and shaved ham in layers. Drizzle on a little of the thickened milk mixture over each layer, season with salt and pepper, and repeat two more times. Pour any remaining milk mixture over the top.
- Sprinkle the cheddar cheese and thyme leaves over the top. Cover loosely with foil. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 15 minutes more to brown the cheese. Serve hot.