Thursday, August 22, 2013

Ham Loaves

Before I became a stay-at-home mom, I worked at a bank for five years.  My co-workers and boss were fantastic, and we were like a family.

We used to have these amazing pot lucks.  Not the kind where most people bring store-bought cookies, a bag of chips, or a 2-liter of soda.  No, no.  I'm talkin' about gatherings where every single person brings their family-favorite, time-tested recipes.

The food was always so good that we just got used to bringing our recipe cards every time we had a pot luck because we knew everyone would want a copy of each recipe.

Many of the recipes I inherited from my work family have become favorites amongst my actual family.  I still smile when I make them, remembering my old friends.

I want to share one of these recipes with you.  I just recently made this one and remembered how good it is.  These are called Ham Loaves.  The word "loaf" doesn't exactly make my mouth water, but just wait until you try these.

Start with some saltine crackers.

Grind 'em up in a food processor.  Transfer 'em to a big bowl.

Throw a pound of ham cubes into the food processor.

Yep.  Grind 'em up.

Dump the ham on top of the cracker crumbs in the bowl.
Add 1/2 pound of ground pork.  Wonder what you're going to do with the other half pound of ground pork since it comes in 1 pound rolls.

Add 1/2 pound ground beef (mine is packaged in 1/3 lb. patties, so I needed 1.5 patties).
Add two eggs.

Salt & peppa

Add milk.

Mix it all together with clean hands. Try not to compress the mixture too much.

Use a measuring cup to scoop out 1/2 cup portions.

Form each 1/2 cup portion into a little loaf.  Arrange loaves in a 9x13 pan.

In a small saucepan combine brown sugar,

dry mustard,

and water.  Bring to a boil.  Try to take a picture of boiling mixture for your blog post and accidentally let it boil over, filling your house with smoke and an awful smell and leaving an unscrubbable mess on your cooktop at your new house.  Oh wait, that's just me.
Pour the sauce over the ham loaves.  Bake at 350.

20 minutes later, pull the pan out of the oven and baste each loaf with the sauce.

20 minutes later, baste again.  The sauce will be slightly thicker each time you baste.

20 minutes know.

By the last basting, you'll have to tip the pan and draw up the thick sauce from the corner in order to baste the loaves.

Finally done after an hour and a half of baking!
These are so tasty.  I don't make them very often because they're time consuming.  Plus I don't regularly have ground pork and ham on hand.  Trust me though, your taste buds will thank you for making them!

Here's the recipe:

Ham Loaves

1 lb. ham (either chop into rough cubes or buy ham cubes), ground in food processor
1/2 lb. ground pork
1/2 lb. ground beef
2 eggs
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. salt
1 cup milk
1 cup cracker crumbs (28 saltines)

Mix all ingredients well.  Form into 1/2 cup loaves.  Bake at 350 degrees for 1.5 hours.  Baste every 20-30 minutes with sauce (recipe below).

3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup vinegar
1 tsp. dry mustard

Bring to a boil.  Pour over ham loaves.  Baste loaves with sauce throughout cooking.



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