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Scalloped Potatoes and Ham Recipe

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This recipe for Scalloped Potatoes and Ham, by , is from Brues, Let's Eat, one of the cookbooks created at FamilyCookbookProject.com. We help families or individuals create heirloom cookbook treasures.

Contributor:  
Contributor:  
Nord Brue
Added: Saturday, January 31, 2009

Category:
Category:

Ingredients:  
Ingredients:  
4 lbs potato
3 lbs ham
1 qt milk
1 pint half and half
3 T butter
1/3 cup flour
½ small onion
salt and pepper

Directions:
Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees on convection setting
Slice ½ to3/4 inch thick ham slice off shank, 2 slices 1 ½+ lb each
Prepare roux of butter and flour; add onion; add milk; heat to boiling
Slice potatoes and layer in large casserole salting and peppering each layer
Cover potatoes with ham
Pour boiling milk mixture over ham and potatoes
Cover with aluminum foil
Place on large sheet pan to catch boil over
Bake for 1 ½ hours then remove foil and bake another ½ hour
Caveat: This dish takes time to cook. As my Father Les told me, quoting his Father Nels, “I never had scalloped potatoes that were done.” He meant of course fully cooked and scalloped potatoes should tender, never be al dente which is reserved for the pasta in the Pasta Fagiole at the end of this cycle.

Number Of Servings:
Number Of Servings:
Small Army
Preparation Time:
Preparation Time:
2 hours
Personal Notes:
Personal Notes:
Pot Luck Dinners were a frequent fact for farm families in the rural Iowa of my youth. Church gatherings, family reunions, 4H meetings, neighborhood get togethers, almost any excuse seemed to justify a Pot Luck Dinner. With due regard to budgets and family preferences each family was supposed to bring enough food for themselves and perhaps a bit to share. The “tuna hot dishes” that Garrison Keillor describes are not part of my memory but I can’t recall a single Pot Luck Dinner without multiple version of Scalloped Potatoes and Ham. The tricky part of these outings for a hungry young boy was reconciling his desire to see his Mother’s dishes recognized for their true genius (and therefore eaten ravenously by the crowd) and making sure he got there in time to get his fill before all that remained were the efforts of inferior cooks. Ah, the lessons we learn in life.

In the realm of lessons, as I look back, I am struck by how alien it must seem to people raised in the Jewish tradition to feature a dish of pork cooked in milk and butter. Alien yes, but also delicious. This is a real meat and potatoes dish from the meat and potatoes part of the country.

Yes, this is a largish amount of food and unless you are feeding a very large family or serve it at a dinner party you will have leftovers and that’s the best part. Here’s a notion-- for breakfast two days later, slice some of the ham into smaller pieces and heat it together with some of the potatoes and sauce in a non-stick skillet. When the ham and potatoes are bubbling, break two eggs for each person over the eggs, cover and poach the eggs for 5-6 minutes.

As I recall it, my Mom had perfected Scalloped Potatoes and Ham and, along with her rendition of Swiss Steak, it ranked in the very upper reaches of culinary excellence. It was real man pleasing food (to paraphrase Suzanne) but as I look at the ingredients and the quantity I must now acknowledge that it may be more nutritionally appropriate for a young farmer burning 5,000 calories a day in the hayfields than for those of us with sedentary jobs or who have lost a little spring in our step.

 

 

 

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