- 5 or 6 small to medium russet potatoes
- 3 stalks celery, chopped
- 2 large carrots, sliced
- 4 1/2 cups water
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 cups cubed fully cooked ham
- About 1/2 a red bell pepper, chopped
- About 1/2 a small onion, chopped
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 4 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. Place potatoes, celery, and carrot in a large pot and cover with water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and transfer to a 9x13 baking dish.
3. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat; cook and stir ham, red bell pepper, and onion until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer ham mixture to baking dish and mix with potatoes.
4. Melt remaining 6 tablespoons butter in a clean skillet; cook and stir flour in melted butter until smooth, about 3 minutes. Gradually stir in milk and season with salt and black pepper. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 2 minutes. Add Cheddar cheese; stir until melted. Pour cheese mixture over ham and potatoes.
5. Sprinkle with bread crumbs. Bake in preheated oven until bubbly, about 30 minutes. Allow casserole to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.