Country Ham chunks - what to do with them?

I acquired a package of country ham pieces this week on a trip to Indiana. The package specifically says that the chunks are to be used to flavor things.

I am thinking soups and stews, or beans, but I haven’t worked with country ham before. It’s pretty rare around these parts. :).

I have eaten it as a breakfast item on various trips to the south, but haven’t cooked with it before. It seems like it could be unbrearably salty if used in large quantities.

What would you do with about a half pound of 1" country ham chunks?

Country ham is definitely salty, but it’s a good salt, not unlike a salty cheese (think Feta). Use it like you’d use bacon - in small quantities. It’s great in scrambled eggs or quiches. Also good (as you mentioned) in beans and stews. You could fry some up, crumble it, and sprinkle it on top of soups like a garnish (pea soup would be really good.) Or do the same with mashed potatoes - twice baked potatoes with country ham could be stupid good. Or scalloped/gratin potatoes.

It is salty, but if you cook it with beans or use it in stews, just modify your salt additions accordingly. (i.e. use the ham, but salt at the end to taste)

Fry up some bacon – not too crispy – and sausage. Chop up the bacon and sausage. Use the grease to make gravy. Add the bacon, sausage, country ham, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve over biscuits.

Bean soup, for sure.

OK, sounds like first up will be beans.

Would love to do the biscuits & gravy but I can’t make biscuits to save my life. :slight_smile:

You could always get a tube of refrigerated biscuit dough.

Hm… I think roomie is off next weekend. Maybe I’ll make biscuits from scratch. And (bacon) gravy. And then we can have eggs’n’cheese on biscuits with the leftovers.

Potato soup.

Ham, potatoes, celery, onion, water, carrots. Boil like you’re Irish. Crush potatoes and carrots to thicken. Yummmm. Add some cheese if you like.

If you wish to save some ham for later, it is possible to freeze it for later use. I’d slice some into thin slices, fry it up, make red eye gravy and biscuits. Then I would take it to Tummytown!

Got a crock pot? Rinse and soak a pound of dried pinto beans overnight, and let the ham soak in a sauce pot in the fridge for at least that long. Dump the ham, the water it soaked in and a can of cheap beer into the crock pot. Squeeze in just under half a cup each of ketchup and yellow mustard, a slightly smaller amount of brown sugar, a half shot of Worcestershire sauce and as much Tabasco as you find appropriate. If you have a bell pepper and an onion, chop 'em up and throw 'em in after a few hours, but don’t make a special trip or anything. Cook on low for at least a day (or for 6 hours on high, but it won’t be as good) and keep cooking until there’s no crunch left in the beans.

It should last about a week, unless you foolishly share it with someone.

IMHO it is great for soups since the salt will be needed there anyway. Also good for flavoring veggies, just throw some in the pot.

Forget the tubed biscuits and go for the Pillsbury frozen option instead. They bake up beautifully and the texture is far superior to the refrigerated tubes.

I used to make my own from scratch, but almost exclusively used the frozen now. Biggest advantage - I can bake just what I need instead of baking a pan full.