What a great way to use leftover ham! We love this after Christmas or Easter when leftovers from ham seem to be abundant. We make a HUGE amount, so if you want less, just cut this recipe in half. This makes enough to serve 10-12 people (we love leftovers)!
4-5 pounds (about 12-13 medium) potoatoes, washed, pared and sliced thinly to measure around 8-10 cups
6 Tbsp. butter
6 Tbsp. flour
2 tsp. salt
1-2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
5 cups (whole) milk
1 onion, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
3-4 cups chopped (small pieces) cooked, smoked ham
6 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Melt butter in large saucepan, sprinkle in flour and blend with melted butter, salt and pepper. Whisk until smooth and bubbly. Add milk slowly, stirring constantly with a whisk until smooth. Heat on medium heat until hot and boiling. Boil 1 minute, stirring constantly with a whisk. Remove from heat and allow to stand.
You may want to prepare potatoes layer by layer to avoid potatoes, exposed to air, from browning. I usually do about 4 potatoes per layer.
Divide onion and ham in half, white sauce and potatoes into thirds. Start with a very large baking pan that will hold about 14 cups (I use my pampered chef 13x9 inch rectangular stoneware baker). Spray with non-stick vegetable spray. Place 1/3 of the potatoes evenly on the bottom of the pan, add 1/2 of the ham and onion, 1/3 of the white sauce and 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese. Top with more potatoes, the other half of the onion and ham and 1/3 of the white sauce and 2 cups of cheese. Top with a final layer of potatoes and remaining white sauce. Reserve the remaining 2 cups of cheese until later.
Cover with aluminum foil and place in 350 degree oven (preheated). Bake for 30-40 minutes. Remove foil, top with remaining cheese and bake an additional 60 to 70 minutes, until potatoes are tender and everything is bubbly.
Let stand 5-10 minutes before serving. Serve with a green veggie or salad and fruit. Leftovers are delicious!