Food You Can Eat: Ham & Gruyere Casserole

This will stick to your ribs and your left and right heart ventricles

Recipe via Food52 but image via The Food Network, because Food52 doesn't allow you to shamelessly rip off their images.

I have no idea where I got this recipe but I assure you it is not mine. [Edit: Found it, Food52, by Catherine Yoo, published November 2020, which tracks, because I remember I made this around the time Biden had won the election but it wasn’t clear Trump would voluntarily leave the White House. Also, I made this whole thing for just the two of us, so New York at least was still in a lockdown mood—it makes for good leftovers within reason.]

So in November 2020 apparently I had a lot of time on my hands. I remember thinking I would make a frittata but then I came across this, in my inbox no doubt, and decided I was fated to attempt it. It’s easy enough and doesn’t take that long; it’s just that it’s more complex than an everyday frittata and very rich.


1 St Pierre Sliced Brioche Loaf (about 1 pound), cut into large cubes (recipe says this was developed in partnership with St. Pierre so slight spon-con. I didn’t use St. Pierre brioche.]
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 medium shallots (about 6 ounces), thinly sliced
8 fresh thyme sprigs, leaves only
12 ounces smoked boneless ham, diced
12 ounces broccoli, cut into small florets
2 cups whole milk
10 eggs
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika*
1/2 teaspoon cayenne*
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg*
1/4 teaspoon black pepper*
1 medium tomato (about 7 ounces), diced
1 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped [feel free to use less]
5 ounces creamy Gouda, grated and divided
5 ounces Gruyère, grated and divided

*I didn’t do this. You can flavor this however you like. I used my Beloved Herbes de Provence.

How to:

Place the oven racks on the top 1/3 and 2/3 of the oven, and preheat to 300°F. Spread the brioche cubes amongst** two sheet trays and toast for 10 minutes. 

Once the bread is out, move the top oven rack to the middle and increase the oven temperature to 350°F.

In a large nonstick pan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and thyme, and sauté until the edges turn brown, about 2 minutes.

Mix in the ham and sauté for another 2 minutes. Then add the broccoli and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Set this mixture aside and let cool for about 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, and spices. Set aside 1/2 cup of Gouda and 1/2 cup of Gruyère to top the casserole before baking. Once the egg-milk mixture is combined, add the tomato, parsley, cheeses, sautéed vegetables, and toasted brioche cubes into the large bowl. Lightly toss everything together.

Spray non-stick oil on the casserole dish and pour the mixture into your greased casserole dish. Top the casserole with the reserved cheese and bake in the oven for about 40 minutes. Cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.

**In those dark days of November, two years ago, I did a quick copy/paste of this recipe to make it, and now I’m doing a quick copy/paste to share with all of you. Let me just point out here that ending a word in -st, like “amongst” and “whilst,” is a Britishism. As a confirmed Anglophile I don’t know why it bothers me so much when I see Americans doing this. My molars also start throbbing when I see “grey” and an entertainment venue named “X Theatre.” Just a little quirk of mine.

Anyway, this is delicious and as I said very rich. This is billed as a “breakfast casserole” but I made it for dinner, because I think if you eat this before noon you wouldn’t get much done for the rest of the day, and besides, who wants to start their day with a cardiac event?



    • This is so clearly based on a French recipe, and French life expectancies are five years more than ours. If I hear one more American who’s never experienced care under one  tell me how inferior national health insurance programs are I’m going to throw a big wheel of Gruyère at them.

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