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My family has made this for generations. It's great for a tight budget because potatoes are cheap and you don't need much ham [although more never hurts = )]. We always serve this with peas - sometimes on the side, sometimes all mixed together.
- 6 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1⁄2 teaspoon fresh black pepper, divided
- 1 cup milk
- 2 -3 tablespoons coarse-ground mustard (Dijon or spicy brown work fine too)
- 4 ounces cooked ham, cut into small cubes
- Place potatoes and onion in a large pot with enough water to cover by an inch. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Remove cover, reduce heat to med-high and cook an additional 15 minutes or until potatoes are easily pierced with a paring knife. Drain well.
- Meanwhile, melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
- Combine flour, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper. Whisk into butter until smooth.
- Gradually whisk in milk, ensuring liquid has been fully incorporated before adding more. Cook 2-3 minutes until slightly thickened, whisking frequently.
- Add mustard to sauce. *Sauce should have a strong flavor on its own as the potatoes mellow it out a lot.*.
- Combine drained potatoes, sauce, and ham in the large pot by stirring with a heavy spoon. This will break down some of the potatoes and the released starches will finish binding up the sauce.
- Add remaining salt and pepper, more to taste if needed, and heat through.