4 medium potatoes, thinly sliced
1 to 1 1/2 cups diced cooked ham (the ham I used was nitrate free and uncured)
1 small onion, chopped
4 tbsp. melted butter (for the sauce), I used this
3 cups whole milk, raw is great if you have it
1 cup finely grated cheddar cheese, I used this
1/4 cup flour
2 tbsp. butter, chopped (to finish)
1 tbsp. dried parsley
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
Sea salt & pepper to taste
1. Prepare the potatoes: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In baking dish (I used a 4-qt cast iron braising pan), combine the potatoes, ham, onion, and seasonings. Stir to mix and set aside.
2. Make the sauce: In a medium saucepan, melt the 4 tbsp. of butter over medium to medium-low heat. Add flour and stir until smooth. Remove from heat for a couple of minutes, so the mixture cools off a bit to the point that it is no longer bubbling. Add the milk and return to the heat. Stir constantly until the mixture has thickened. You do not want to rush this process or walk away. It will take about 5 to 10 minutes. Once the mixture has thickened, add the grated cheese and mix. Cook a couple of minutes longer until the cheese is fully melted and incorporated into the sauce.
3. Combine: Pour the sauce over the potatoes, ham, and onions and stir to combine. Cover and bake one hour. Sprinkle with remaining chopped butter and then cook for another 15 minutes uncovered until potatoes are tender.
I do not use white flour when I cook except for occasional gravies as I have not really had success with other options. You could try to thicken your sauce using arrowroot powder but be advised it will result in more of a gel rather than a roux. You could also try a whole wheat or spelt flour, but that will result in a stronger flavor. At the end of the day, I figure it's just a little bit of flour for an occasional dish, so I try not to worry too much about it.
This does not take too long to prepare, maybe about 15 minutes as you have to peel potatoes, chop, and slice a bit. It will serve 6 to 8 as a side dish. My husband says they are the best scalloped potatoes he has ever had.
This post was shared at Show and Share Wednesday, Wednesday Extravaganza, Rattlebridge Farm's Foodie Friday, Walking on Sunshine's Foodie Friends Friday, Foodtastic Friday, Tasty Tuesdays, and Scratch Cookin' Tuesday.