On this day after Christmas, I would bet there are people staring balefully into their refrigerators at the considerable remnants of a ham and wondering what the hell possessed them to buy an entire leg of pig when they were only having six guests, one of whom only eats egg whites and oxygen because she’s perennially on a diet.
I mentioned that I impetuously-but-wisely bought two ten-pound hams. (Neither of us is ever on a diet.) We’ve been enjoying the first one, mainly in scrambles at breakfast and grilled sandwiches, and amazingly we aren’t sick of it, but not everyone is as fond of ham.
I used to really like that product called Deviled Ham, made by Underwood and packaged in a teeny-tiny can and outrageously priced. I still like it but I’m not going to pay whatever it is they charge for it, not when I have an actual ham in the refrigerator.
I love you but you cost too damn much.
I think of this as ham salad but deviled ham might be more accurate. I don’t know and I’m not going to look up the etymology right now. Ham salad does bring to mind a chopped rather than pate-like product, but call it whatever you want. This does require a food processor, super-duper blender, food mill, or similar. I guess if you really like chopping ham with a knife into infinitesimal bits you could do that instead, but I don’t think the end result would be the same, not to mention the carpal tunnel issues.
HAM SALAD, AKA DEVILED HAM
- 2 1/2 to 3 cups chopped ham from an actual ham (not deli ham), including at least 1/2 cup ham fat (don’t freak out: egg salad, tuna salad, chicken salad, etc. includes loads of mayonnaise, which is every bit as fatty)
- 2-3 generous teaspoons better-than-French’s-type mustard (I used Plochman’s whole grain, but any spicy or hot mustard would work)
- 2-3 generous teaspoons horseradish
- generous 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- generous 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- Good shake of hot sauce
Put everything in the workbowl of food processor and pulse 10-14 times until finely chopped, then blitz continuously until ham is pâté-like – about 30 seconds. Give it a taste and add more whatever if you think it needs it.
Scrape ham mixture into a container and store, covered, in the refrigerator. This is better if you let it age at least a couple of hours; it’ll keep quite well at for a week. Makes great hors d’oeuvres on a cracker or thinly sliced baguette, filling for a tiny cream puff shell, sandwich filling, or whatever else comes to mind.