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spinbaby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-12-09 07:23 AM
Original message
What to do with salty ham
We baked a half ham from our free-range half hog last night. The processor seems to have used way to much brine and turned out a very salty ham--too salty to just eat straight. This leaves us with a LOT of very salty ham to use up. I'm going to freeze most of it to use a bit at a time. Now I need to think of recipes that will use up salty ham--in other words, recipes that treat the ham as a seasoning rather than the main event.

Bean soup with the bone, of course. Scalloped potatoes. Fried rice. And then I run out of ideas.
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Arkansas Granny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-12-09 08:19 AM
Response to Original message
1. The first thing that comes to my mind would be a variation on a New England Boiled Dinner.
I think the classic recipe calls for corned beef or brisket, but in my family we always cooked ham together with potatoes, carrots, cabbage and onions and called it boiled dinner. Simmering it with all those veggies might bring a lot of salt out of the ham.

Could you soak it in water to remove some of the salt? I'm getting a little tickle in my brain that makes me think I've heard of someone doing this to a salty ham.
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spinbaby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-12-09 08:56 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. I think country ham is sometimes soaked
But those are dry cured and are a different kind of thing. This is plain old ham with too much salt. A boiled dinner sounds like it's worth experimenting with, though.
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GoCubsGo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-21-09 10:56 AM
Response to Reply #3
10. That is correct.
One has to soak country hams forever to get rid of the salt. I don't think it would hurt to soak your ham. I'm guessing it would be like soaking salt cod before you use it. Otherwise, you could thin-slice it and use it like proscuitto, Serrano ham, or Parma ham. It would work in split pea soup, too.
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-12-09 08:56 AM
Response to Original message
2. Cube it in small amounts
Edited on Thu Nov-12-09 08:57 AM by Warpy
to make ham and Swiss cheese omelets. You could get by with using a milder cheese than Swiss, if you liked.

Cut steaks and soak them in water in the fridge before you pan sear them. Be sure not to salt any of the sides you serve with them until you get to the table and find out how salty the ham is after soaking. Soaking it might make it a bit more edible. Just be aware that you need to slice it first unless you want to soak it for a week.

Add it to anything you cook that needs salt. Besides salt, it will add extra flavor. That means soups, stews, spaghetti sauces, pizza. You can make ham and cheese pizza with it, not salting the dough and using a lot more cheese than ham.

Lay in an extra supply of beer so you can drown the pig after you eat it.
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Paper Roses Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-12-09 10:19 AM
Response to Original message
4. We had that happen and resorted to soaking the cooked ham
in water for hours then pan fried some slices, boiled the rest for pea soup. I only buy low salt hams now. Even then, I soak them before baking. I have even boiled them for a while. The finished ham was still good but far less salty.

I cannot figure our why the processors do this. Is it just a cheaper way to speed the cure? There have been times when I was kept awake by an incredible thirst from a too salty ham.
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wildflower Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-12-09 11:12 AM
Response to Original message
5. Potato soup
Potatoes are notoriously good at absorbing salt; so I would cut it up small and put it in a large pot of unsalted potato soup. (Bean soup might work too.)
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grasswire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-12-09 12:31 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. that was my first idea, too
Cube some ham and chop some onions, sweat them together in a pot, then add potatoes and a bit of water and simmer until the potatoes are done. Then add milk and simmer gently as long as you want, until all the flavors marry. You could add a bit of sour cream, and serve with grated cheese and chopped scallion.
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spinbaby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-12-09 01:28 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Yum
I know what we're having for dinner.
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hippywife Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-12-09 11:19 AM
Response to Original message
6. Mmmmm!
Ham and cabbage. :9
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kestrel91316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-13-09 02:03 PM
Response to Original message
9. Throw some in a quiche with broccoli and cheese.
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grasswire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-21-09 12:25 PM
Response to Original message
11. gee, I almost forgot my favorite ham dish
Ham loaf!

Ham loaf uses ground ham and also lean ground pork, so that would cut the saltiness. I really love ham loaf, with its sweet-sour-y vinegar brown sugar sauce.

Also I've seen recipes for dilly ham balls that use ground ham and ground pork and dill all in a sour cream sauce.
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spinbaby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-21-09 01:59 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. Do you have a recipe?
Sounds good and I do have ground pork from our half hog.

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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-21-09 06:51 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. here's one:
3/4 Ib. ground ham
3/4 Ib. ground pork
1 egg
1/4 cup minced onions
1/2 cup cracker crumbs
1/2 cup milk
pepper to taste

Glaze:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp. dry mustard
1/4 cup vinegar


Directions
1. In a large mixing bowl, mix ham, pork, egg, onions, cracker crumbs, milk, and pepper together until well blended. Form into a loaf, and then place in greased loaf pan.

2. Make glaze by mixing brown sugar, dry mustard, and vinegar together until smooth.

3. Pour glaze over top of ham loaf.

4. Bake at 350 for 1-1 1/4 hours, or until well browned. Baste occasionally with glaze during baking.

I use breadcrumbs instead of cracker crumbs. sometimes I use orange juice instead of mild or sour cream instead of mild. I saute the onions first until soft and barely colored. I also use maple syrup for the glaze.


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