What to do with leftover ham? One great option is Ham and Potato Casserole. I have a bad habit when it comes to cravings. When I get “hungry” for a certain food or meal, off to the grocery store I go. I try to plan my meals ahead but when my craving kicks in, the planned meal is in the dust. It happens quite often. I don’t even know why I try to do meal planning.
One day I got a craving for Ham and Beans. So off to the store I went. I bought a bone-in ham, the shank portion. I cut most of the ham off and use the bone in the beans as they are cooking. But then that leaves me with a lot of leftover ham. That’s when I make Ham and potato casserole the next day. I guess I am actually getting 2 meals in one so to speak.
The first time I ate ham and potato casserole was when I was working nights. At that time we were allowed to eat leftovers. Alas, the good ole days. That practice is not allowed now. But anyway, I absolutely loved it and have managed over the years to come close to duplicating it.
I usually use Frick’s bone-in ham if I can find it. It is my favorite ham. A co-worker told me about it and once I tried it there was no going back. It’s usually available at my local IGA grocery store. I also like the shank portion.
You could use any ham. The only reason I use Frick’s brand ham is that it makes excellent ham and beans and I have all that ham leftover.
I usually grind the ham in my food processor. The reason? Because the ham was ground in that first ham and potato casserole I had. I worked in long-term nursing and it was ground due to the older population. Easier for them to chew. But you can use chopped or diced ham. Either will work.
I use red potatoes. For some reason, I have it in my head that red potatoes are best for mashed potatoes, fried potatoes, potato salad, and casseroles. White potatoes are for baked potatoes and homemade french fries. Would you believe that I actually buy the type of potato for whatever I am making? Weird, I know. The older I get, the more particular I become. That’s something to look forward to in my “golden” years. Not!
The type of onion you use is really up to you. I lean towards sweet onions. But I have used yellow or white onions. I always saute’ my onions in a mixture of butter and vegetable oil. I believe that brings out the sweetness in the onion and again my long-term nursing experience is showing. The onion is easier to chew this way. I am getting older after all.
Let’s Make Ham And Potato Casserole
- 2 cups chopped, diced, or ground ham.
- 5-6 medium-sized red potatoes
- 1/2 of a large onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1-2 cups shredded mild cheddar cheese (optional and depending on how cheesy you feel, pun intended)
- salt and pepper to taste
Directions For Ham And Potato Casserole
Chop, dice, or ground ham. Slice the potatoes and keep them covered in cold water. Otherwise, your potatoes will turn brown. Saute’ chopped onion in a large skillet with the butter and oil until tender and translucent. Add flour to the onion and stir continuously. Cook for about a minute. This helps to get rid of the floury taste. Slowly add the milk one cup at a time stirring continuously until thickened. Salt and pepper to taste. Now at this point, you could add the cheese to the white sauce*. Set aside to cool slightly.
Spray a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and place a layer of potatoes in the bottom of the pan. Then layer with 1 cup of the ham. Spread half the white sauce over the ham. Repeat, ending with the white sauce. Sprinkle the top with cheese if you like. Bake covered in a preheated 350-degree oven for approximately 40 minutes or until potatoes are tender, the cheese is nicely browned and gooey and the sauce is bubbling.
* Omit cheese to the white sauce and instead add the cheese in the layering process. Potatoes, ham, white sauce, and then the shredded cheese. I have done both. In the photos in this post, I added the cheese to the white sauce.
The Finish Line
Serve this wonderful casserole with a vegetable of your choice. Growing up, my mom always had meat, a potato, a vegetable, and a salad at the evening meal. I found that I have followed that tradition although I don’t always have the salad. But I always have meat, potato, and vegetable.
It’s funny isn’t it, the things we pick up in our childhood and continue to do when we are adults? (Hopefully good things). I really hadn’t thought about it until I started this online adventure. But as I write these posts there are so many wonderful memories of my childhood that will just pop up in my head. And I so much enjoy sharing them with you.
I hope you give this tasty casserole a try. A great way to use that leftover ham.
And please leave me a comment below about your experience.
Have A Wonderful Day!