Easy Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes

1/4 cup butter plus extra for buttering the baking dish

1/4 cup flour

2 cups whole milk

1 cup half and half

3 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided

Kosher salt and coarsely ground black pepper for seasoning

3 1/2 pounds potatoes (russet, red or golden) washed and scrubbed, peeling left on

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a large, heavy saucepan, melt 1/4 cup butter over medium to high heat; add flour and whisk for 1 minute.  Gradually whisk in the milk and half and half; continue to cook over medium to high heat, stirring constantly, until thickened and bubbly.  Stir in 3 cups of the shredded cheese until melted.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Remove from heat.
  3. Meanwhile, slice potatoes thinly, no more than about a 1/8 of an inch thick.  Generously butter a 13 x 9 inch or equivalent size baking dish.  Place 1/3 of the potatoes in the bottom in an even layer.  Season with salt and pepper.  Pour 1/3 of the sauce evenly over the top.  Repeat twice, then sprinkle the top with the remaining shredded cheese.
  4. Bake for 60-75 minutes OR until potatoes are fork tender all the way through and the top is golden brown.  (If top starts getting too brown before the potatoes are tender, cover with foil.)  Let cool for about 20 minutes before serving.