This homestyle dish is sure to please with loads of hearty potatoes and creamy cheese sauce.
4 pounds potatoes
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon curry powder (optional)
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 pound cheese, thinly sliced or shredded
1-2 cups ham, chopped (optional)
Grease a 9×13 pan or 3 quart casserole dish with butter or lard. Preheat oven to 350 F. Peel or scrub potatoes, slice thinly. Place potatoes in cold water while you make the sauce.
To make the cream sauce. Melt butter over low heat in a medium to large heavy saucepan (one that has room for the potatoes), stirring frequently with a wooden spoon. Blend in flour, pepper and salt. Cook over low heat, stirring until mixture is smooth and bubbly.
Stir in milk.
Bring mixture to boil, stirring constantly. Boil one minute. Mixture will become thick and creamy.
Add onions and curry powder (if desired) to sauce. Drain potatoes thoroughly in a colander. Pour potatoes into hot warm sauce, toss to coat. Add ham, if desired.
At this point, you can either add the shredded cheese right in the sauce pot, or add in in layers as you place the potatoes in the pan.
Cover with foil or lid and bake for around one hour, until center is bubbling.
Remove foil and bake ten minutes more to brown the top. Remove from oven, let rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.