6 medium potatoes – peeled, washed and sliced – I used my mandolin to keep thinness consistent – about 1/4 inch
2 c cheddar or favorite shredded cheese
3 1/2 Tbsp butter
4 1/2 Tbsp flour
1 1/2 c chicken broth
1 c heavy cream
1/2 c milk
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/2 – 3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1. In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, add oil – once hot, add the kielbasa & onions, stirring occasionally – you want the sausage to start caramelizing and the onion to soften. Set aside.
2. Peel, wash and slice potatoes. Can do ahead, keep in cold water. You could par-cook these now too, to cut down baking time, if using a harder potato- such as Russets. I usually will boil 10 – 15 minutes to soften some.
3. Start sauce: In a medium saucepan over medium heat- melt butter and once melted add the flour…whisk to make a paste and continue cooking for at least a 1 minute to remove the flour taste. I usually stir for 1 1/2 min.
4. Add the broth slowly and whisk as adding, making sure there are no lumps. Now add the cream and milk – then seasonings. Stirring often until you have a thickened white sauce. Taste now, and see if it needs more seasonings.
5. In a 4 quart casserole. Ladle enough sauce to cover the bottom of the dish. Next, layer half the potatoes, then half the kielbasa and onion mixture. Next half the cheese.
6. Repeat layer of sauce, potatoes, kielbasa and end with cheese. ( you will need to push potatoes some into the white sauce). When cooking the sauce will cover the potatoes. So don’t worry.
7. Cover and bake in a 350-degree oven for 45 minutes. Then, remove foil and continue baking for 40 minutes longer or until potatoes are fork-tender.
8. Serve alongside your favorite vegetable and maybe a nice slice of crusty bread. Enjoy!