The Easter Bunny is enjoying a well deserved vacation today and, if tradition holds, a lot of us have leftover Easter ham taking up space in our fridge! I figured that since this is the case, I’d share our favorite go-to ham side dish.
A couple of years ago, we were lucky enough to enjoy a delicious dinner at a friend’s house, where she served up these amazing potatoes alongside some equally amazing braised short ribs. After the meal, I knew I had to have the recipe, so I immediately pestered her with an email once I got home. Thankfully, she passed it along! The potatoes make a few appearances on our dinner plates each year and when they do, we’re always very happy to see them.
I started by chopping up an onion, some garlic, and a bit of fresh thyme. These went into a dutch oven with a dab of butter to soften up a little.
As that was cooking down, I peeled a few russet potatoes and ran them through my food processor with the slicing blade attached. In just a couple of minutes, I had perfectly sliced potatoes, ready to go! If you don’t have a food processor, a mandolin slicer or good sharp knife will do the trick. You just need the slices to be, consistently, about 1/8 inch thick.
Once the onion-garlic mixture had cooked down, I added the sliced potatoes, equal parts chicken broth and heavy cream, and two bay leaves to the pot. I brought this to a boil, lowered the heat a bit and simmered the mixture for about ten minutes, until the potatoes were done.
Once you can easily slide a sharp knife in and out of the potato slices, they’re done. I fished out those bay leaves and transferred all of that yumminess to a 1 1/2 quart baking dish.
I made these potatoes as a side dish for my ham, but if you’re looking for a one dish meal, you could easily layer some sliced ham in with the potatoes. Just make sure you have potatoes as the top layer.
I covered the top with some shredded cheddar cheese and they were ready to pop in the oven!
These potatoes smell divine as they bake. It’s amazing how such simple ingredients can come together to make something so wonderful.
Once the potatoes had baked about 15 minutes, they were all bubbly, golden, and perfect. We were eager to jump right in, but they need to sit for about ten minutes before you serve them, so we held off…for ten minutes and ten minutes only!
Once the waiting period is over, watch out! You’ll have some amazingly delicious, addictive, rich-but-not-too-rich potatoes on your hands. They might just make you wish you had a fridge full of Easter ham more often!
Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated: Best New Recipe
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 1¼ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. ground black pepper
- 2½ lbs. russet potatoes, peeled and sliced ⅛ inch thick (I used 4 potatoes this time)
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- Make sure that the rack in your oven is in the middle position and preheat your oven to 425*.
- Melt the butter in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and just starting to brown, about 4 minutes. Add the minced garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper and cook until fragrant, about 30 more seconds. Add the potatoes, broth, cream, and bay leaves. Bring the mixture to a simmer. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low and let simmer until the potatoes are just tender (when you can insert a knife in easily and remove it just as easily, they're done), about 10 minutes. Discard the bay leaves.
- Transfer the potato mixture to a 1½ baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with the cheddar cheese.
- Bake until the cream is bubbling around the edges and the cheese on top is golden brown, about 15 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.
- Serves 6-8