This ham and potatoes sarladaise (pronounced sahr-lah-DAYZ) is a French classic that’s traditionally made with duck confit but the authors retrofitted it to work with leftover holiday ham.–David Leite
What can I do with my leftover ham?
Easter bunny left you hamming it up with leftovers? Put down that sandwich. Instead reach for your potato peeler. And not to worry if you slathered your hunk of porcine goodness in a deliciously sticky glaze of some sort, whether based on maple or mustard or even Dr Pepper. Just trim the outermost portion before proceeding, as that undertone of sweet or heat, while lovely at the holiday table, may tend to tussle with the savory rustic vibe of this French casserole.
Ham and Potatoes Sarladaise
- 2 pounds russet potatoes (do not substitute a different variety)
- 1/4 cup lard or olive oil
- 1 pound ham, cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm) dice
- 1/3 cup packed parsley leaves, chopped
- 4 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt, such as kosher salt or sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Position the rack in the dead center of the oven.
- Peel the potatoes and then use a very sharp, thin knife or a mandoline or handheld slicer to cut them into 1/4-inch-thick (6-mm) slices. Pat the potato slices completely dry.
☞ TESTER TIP: It’s faster and easier to slice the potatoes crosswise the short way to produce rounds. But the ensuing dish is, arguably, more aesthetically pleasing if you slice the potatoes the long way. To get those elegant long slices, first lop off one end of the potato so you can stand it upright on your cutting board. Then slice straight down.
- Heat the lard or olive oil in a very large skillet over medium-high heat. The oil is ready when you add a single potato slice and the oil immediately bubbles, but be careful: the starch-laden water lurking within the potato will pop and sputter in the hot oil. (You might consider using a splatter screen.)
- Fry the slices in batches, being careful not to crowd the skillet, until they’re golden brown, turning occasionally, about 15 minutes per batch. As the potato slices are finished, transfer them to a couple of large gratin dishes or a 9-by-13-inch (23-by 33-cm) baking dish.
- After all the potatoes have been fried and are in the pan, sprinkle them with the remaining ingredients and toss well.
- Bake, tossing the ingredients twice or even thrice during baking, until the edges of the potatoes are crisp and the center of the potatoes are tender and everything is aromatic, about 20 minutes. Serve straight from the dish. Originally published April 9, 2010.
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Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
We happened to have leftover local, cured, unsmoked ham, which was itching for potatoes to accompany it in a dish. What’s not to like about ham and potatoes? This sardalaise is a more modern rather than traditional version, and I really enjoyed it a lot.
I used my mandoline for perfect 1/4-inch-thick potato slices. I fried them in bacon fat until perfectly golden. They even looked great sizzling in the skillet. Then all you do is place them in a baking dish and add the ham, garlic, plenty of salt and pepper, and parsley, and roast. So simple and so good. Nothing thrilling or exciting, just plain good.
A lot of fat is involved here, so it’s not something I’d make frequently but it’s the perfect way to use leftover ham. Next time I’d add chives or green onion and maybe some fresh thyme.
It’s cold and blustery weather when you want comfort food thats filling, tasty, easy to prepare and a good reheat for another day. We enjoy potatoes year round but this is one goes in my winter food file.
It seems to me to be neither a protein dish nor a vegetable dish. One pound is not enough potatoes for one pound of diced ham which does make the dish quite salty when you add a tsp of salt. We enjoyed the crispy potatoes and will make again with the ham that I’ve diced and frozen.
It’s an economical meal if you buy just a ham steak that is sold in the deli section of the market. 4 cloves of garlic is more than sufficient. Since I’m not sure if it’s considered a side dish or a main dish based on the balance of meat vs potatoes, it would be good for a buffet table or backyard bbq. I served it with a salad, but it seemed a bit lonely without additional dishes. Perhaps steamed broccoli would have been a good dish with it.
This ham and potato combination would work for dinner, breakfast, or brunch—I’m pleased to have this combination anytime again (and soon, please). While it will be spectacular with a special holiday ham, even if you buy a single slice of smoked ham steak, this will be successful. It’s a dish where the russet sings, a perfect potato for this job.
While the dish would be beautiful with something more exotic like duck fat, I really loved the olive oil treatment—perhaps because it reminded me of the homemade thick potato chips my Greek grandfather would make for me. I used a cast-iron pan for the frying (and a splatter screen) and overcame my normal fry-phobic fear. As I removed the slices, I held them for a moment to drip off any extra oil then plopped them into the gratin dish. In three batches, each one speeding up a little as the oil level dropped and maybe crept up a little in temperature (watch this, and be prepared to drop the heat as needed), the oven heated up. My ham pieces began very geometric in perfect little cubes, but with the oven time the edges took on a nice sear, and the dish needed exactly 20 minutes in the oven.
My first thought as I took the dish out was how great it would have been to serve with fried eggs, but I had already made a Caesar-ish salad while it was baking and that worked perfectly (a half recipe will serve dinner for two with a similar side). Although I was able to slice the lengthwise slabs, I would be fine with cross sections since those probably toss more easily.
Delicious, simple and no doubt will be returning as a welcome dish all winter, weeknights and weekend mornings.