Yield: 8-10 Servings
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small sweet onion, finely chopped
4 cups frozen hash brown potatoes
8 cups French bread cubed, with crusts removed
1 lb bulk sausage, mild or hot (depending on your taste)
2 cups grated Swiss cheese
2 cups grated Romano cheese
2 ¼ cups half and half
8 large eggs
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly grated black pepper, to taste
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Butter a 13x9x2 baking dish. Melt the butter in a large skillet and sauté onion until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the hash browns and sauté until soft, for about 5 minutes (breaking apart, as they soften). Place the bread cubes in the bottom of the baking pan and then spread the onion and potato mixture on top of the bread crumbs. Using the same sauté pan, fry the sausage and break it into small pieces as it cooks. When the sausage is cooked, remove from pan with a slotted spoon and distribute it evenly over the onion potato mixture. Sprinkle the cheese over the sausage mixture.
In a large mixing bowl, add the eggs, half and half, salt, pepper, nutmeg and Dijon mustard and whisk until well combined. Pour egg mixture over the cheese. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or at least 8 hours.
Remove the casserole from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake the casserole uncovered for approximately 45-50 minutes until puffed and golden brown.
Adapted: Paula Deen – Paula Deen Celebrates – 2006