Ham and Potatoes Au Gratin



3 lbs. russet potatoes, peeled and sliced into ⅛-inch thick slices (approximately 4 large potatoes)

2 cups cooked ham, cut into ½-inch cubes

1 cup frozen peas

1 cup onion, finely chopped

1 cup sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded

1 teaspoon fresh parsley, finely chopped (for garnish)

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon garlic, minced

2 tablespoons all purpose flour

1 cup milk

½ cup chicken broth (or 1 tablespoon chicken bouillon powder + ½ cup water)

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1 cup sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded

salt and pepper (to taste)

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Place half of the sliced potatoes in a single layer at the bottom of a 9×13-inch casserole pan and top with cubed ham, peas and onion. Place the remaining half of the potatoes over the mixture. Set aside.

Prepare the sauce by melting butter in a medium saucepan over over medium high heat. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Whisk in flour to form a thick paste similar to the consistency of cake frosting, and cook for 1 minute.

Stir in milk and chicken broth until sauce is smooth and uniform. Bring the sauce to a simmer over medium heat and let it simmer until thickened to desired consistency, about 5 minutes.

Stir in Italian seasoning and cheddar cheese. Add salt and pepper, to taste (I did not add any salt and pepper as the ham I used was already very salty).

Pour the cream sauce over the potatoes and spread evenly.

Cover the casserole dish with aluminum foil and transfer to the oven. Bake for 50 minutes.
Remove from oven and sprinkle the remaining cup of cheddar cheese evenly over the casserole.

Return the baking dish to the oven and bake uncovered for another 20-25 minutes until the melted cheese turns golden brown on top.

Let the casserole cool for 15 minutes before serving. Garnish with parsley and serve.


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