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Potatoes Au Gratin with Caramelized Onions and Ham

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  • Prep 1 hr 20 min
  • Total 2 hr 30 min
  • Servings 12
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by: Sonia Mendez Garcia
Updated Jul 18, 2017
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  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled
  • 8 cups water
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large red onion, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • Canola spray oil
  • 4 cups hickory smoked cooked ham, diced
  • 8-oz brick of white extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 8-oz brick of Monterey jack cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried cilantro


  • 1
    Whisk together the cream, sour cream, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon of oregano. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.
  • 2
    Add the potatoes to a pot and cover with 8 cups of water. Add 3 teaspoons of salt and cook at medium heat until potatoes are fork tender. Drain the hot water from potatoes, cover with cold water to cool.
  • 3
    In a pan, heat the 4 tablespoons of butter. Add the onions and season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook at medium/low for 30 minutes or until the onions caramelize. Set aside.
  • 4
    Preheat the oven to 375 °F. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with canola oil until evenly coated.
  • 5
    Drain the potatoes and slice into 1/3 inch thick slices. Combine the cheddar and jack cheese.
  • 6
    Add 1/2 cup of the sour cream mix to the bottom of pan, spread out evenly. Add a layer of sliced potatoes to bottom of pan. Add 1/3 of remaining sour cream, 1/2 of the diced ham, 1/2 of the onions and 1/3 of cheese mixture. Repeat another layer of potatoes, sour cream, ham, onions and cheese. Finish the top layer with potatoes, sour cream, cheese, 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon dried cilantro and 1 teaspoon oregano.
  • 7
    Cover loosely with foil paper and bake in preheated oven for 1 hour. During the last few minutes, bake under broiler to brown the cheese. Remove from oven and let stand for 20 minutes before serving.

Expert Tips

  • tip 1
    A wonderful thing about preparing casseroles, such as papas gratinadas, is that they can be prepared a day ahead. Prepare as directed up until before you bake the casserole. When ready, bake as directed.

Nutrition Information

No nutrition information available for this recipe

More About This Recipe

  • Even tastier than all of the baked goods prepared during the holidays are the delicious Christmas side dishes. My mom would exchange recipes with her sisters in Mexico every year. I believe that my siblings and I would agree that papas gratinadas was our absolute favorite out of all of the Christmas side dishes.
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