This tasty layered casserole gets its smokiness from smoked cheese and makes a great holiday or buffet side dish. You could make it heartier by adding chopped bacon, ham, or sausage to the layers or even serve it as a vegetarian entree with some green veggies on the side.
Serves 8 - 10
- 4 - 5 sweet potatoes or yams
- ½ medium onion, quartered & sliced thinly
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 2 Tbsp + ¼ cup flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1½ Tbsp fresh rosemary or 3 tsp dried, chopped
- salt and pepper
- 8 oz (220gr) applewood smoked cheddar or smoked gouda, grated
Preheat oven to 375°F/190°C.
Peel sweet potatoes or yams. Slice very evenly into rounds no more than an ⅛ inch thick. A mandolin or slicer attachment on a food processor is very handy for this. Submerge the slices in a bowl of water to keep from browning.
Melt butter in a small pot over medium heat. Sprinkle evenly with 2 tablespoons of the flour and whisk until smooth and turning into a lightly golden roux. Pour milk into pot whisking to incorporate until smooth. Bring to a simmer and reduce sauce until thickened to the consistency of a thin gravy, stirring often. Mix in rosemary and season with salt and pepper; you want a sauce that is slightly saltier than you think it should be because the potatoes will absorb a lot of the salt.
Lightly pat dry the potato slices and assemble five layers in a 9x13 inch casserole dish. Begin with a layer of one fifth of the potatoes. Sprinkle each potato layer with a light dusting of flour. Spread one quarter of the sliced onions and one fifth of the shredded cheese on the first four layers. Top with the fifth layer of potatoes, pressing slightly if necessary; there may be some slices leftover. Pour sauce slowly over top. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Place the casserole on a baking sheet to catch any overflow should it occur. Bake, uncovered, for 1 ½ hours or until top is golden and bubbling.
Pair with a Belgian beer like Hoegaarden or an off-dry Riesling or Gewürtztraminer.
A Scotch Bonnet hot sauce like Melinda’s Scotch Bonnet is perfect for zipping it up.