Scalloped Potatoes and Corned Beef

Family Recipes are one of the best things passed down through generations.  Usually they are not too fancy or complicated – just good down home food best served family style.  When that dish is put on the table everyone dives in.

Such is the case with my mom’s Scalloped potato and corned beef casserole. Potatoes sliced thin, layered with sliced corned beef or ham. I’ve taken to also adding thinly sliced onions as well.  And all covered with a thick lovely bechamel sauce. I sometimes take it up another notch and sprinkle freshly grated Parmesan on top (or even in the layers).

Ours was always baked in the oven, but it could also be layered into a slow cooker.

It’s one of those dishes where nothings is really measured.  You can make it as small or as large as you need to feed two or a dozen, and in any size or shape of casserole dish.  Or in individual servings – very cute in small cast iron skillets!

Traditionally we made it with white potatoes, but Yukon golds work great, and even sweet potatoes. My mom layered the flour and butter into the layers and butter around the edge of the dish,  and then poured milk over.  I don’t have as much success with this method (I’ve had bubble overs too many times!), so I find it works better for me to make the bechamel (melted butter, flour stirred in and cooked for a minute, then milk and / or half and half stirred in and cooked slowly to thicken) separately and then pour over the dish once assembled.

Depending on the size of your dish, it will take 1-2 hours  at 350 degrees F (or several hours in the slow cooker). The potatoes should be tendered and cooked though…nothing worse than crunchy potatoes!  The top will brown a bit.   The sauce should be bubbling.

Serve with a salad and some crusty bread.  Maybe not the most nutritious meal ever, but a good comfort food.

It’s easy to swap ingredients in or out depending on your tastes.  Don’t have canned corned beef?  Left over ham works well, and so would sliced roast beef.  Even browned ground beef.  Really want to dress it up?  Try seafood… crab or imitation crab, or shrimp would be divine.

Want to go vegetarian?  Leave out the meat, and swap in other vegetables – thinly sliced butternut squash would be good.