Aunt Ruth’s Ham, Gravy and  Dauphinois Potatoes

The Holidays and Festivities are here!

Enjoy spending time with your family, friends, neighbors and four-legged family members.  The Holidays are a wonderful time of giving, celebrating old traditions and starting new ones, peace, love, goodwill to others and remembering those who can not be or those no longer with us.

Cooking and baking are so enjoyable especially this time of year. Digging through your favorite family holiday recipes that were handed down through the generations, creating your menu, baking cookies to give as gifts…yes, always keep some for yourself.  Snuggle up on the couch, watch the classic and new Holiday movies, sing Holiday carols…it does not matter if you can sing well or not…the Holidays are very special, spiritual, festive and often emotional time of year.

From my home to yours…

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah (Hanukkah Sameach), Happy Kwanzaa….Happy Holidays to all.

holiday dinner, ruthies ham and potatoes 

Aunt Ruth’s Ham


My Aunt Ruth’s (Ruthie) ham is very easy and so delicious.
The ham is simmered on top of the stove for about 3 hours or so. Best of all…you can make GRAVY. Yes, Gravy!

Buy your favorite brand of fully cooked semi-boneless ham. Butt end or small shank, that is up to you.  Both are very flavorful.  The butt end is leaner and you get a little more meat.  The shank is larger, fattier, a bit more flavorful and for many people is easier to carve. We always preferred the butt end.

**Note:  For this method, a butt end works best as it fits better in your Dutch oven or the largest and widest pot you have. 

Lightly score the ham in a diamond pattern all over and insert plenty of whole cloves (10-20). Place in a Dutch oven.  Top the ham with 2-3 TB brown sugar and pat it on. Do not salt as the ham itself is salty enough. Add a little water to the Dutch oven, about  1”.  Bring to boil, cover and turn down to a low simmer.  You do not want to boil the ham, you are basically heating it up.  Simmer approximately 30 mins per pound.  A seven-pound ham and overtakes about 3- 3 1/2 hours to heat up.

Important! Add more water as needed, check often. Do not let it go dry. Remove from the pan. Let it rest for 10-20 minutes.  Make gravy if you desire.  Carve and serve.
(Aunt Ruth, I love you from the bottom of my heart. Thank you for the many years that we enjoyed your ham recipe. )

Dauphinois Potatoes

(Recipe by Martha Stewart)

Oven temp: 350 degrees
Serves 4-6
Cooking time: 1 hour

You will need:

  • 2 pounds Yukon Gold Potatoes
  • 2 cups heavy cream (whipping cream)
  • 1 cup milk • 1 finely diced shallot
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 3/4 tsp salt • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper • 2 cups grated Gruyere cheese ** 1 cup for each of the two layers
  1. Peel and slice the potatoes very, very thin. I use a mandolin.
  2. Add them to a large saucepan or dutch oven along with the cream, milk, shallot, thyme, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. *You will be reserving the cream mixture after cooking the potatoes.
  3. Bring to a slow simmer for 10 minutes over medium-low heat. Remember that you will be reserving the cream mixture. Carefully, Drain the potatoes.
  4. Layer the partly cooked potatoes in a shallow baking pan in two layers, adding the grated gruyere cheese between the layers and on top.
  5. Pour the reserved cream mixture over the potatoes and bake at 350 degrees F for about 1 hour until the top is golden brown and the potatoes are fork-tender.  Increase the heat for 5 minutes if the potatoes are not brown enough.
  6. Allow to sit for 10 -15 minutes before serving.

This holiday meal comes to us from Barbara Yonkin Bozon