Saturday, February 28, 2015

Ham Loaf with Mustard Brown Sugar Glaze

When I posted photos of my ham loaf on Facebook I had lots of comments which ranged from 'gosh I haven't had that since I was a child" to "what's a ham loaf?"  I was rather surprised as I thought everyone knew what they were and made them regularly. After all, we usually all have left over ham scraps from holiday hams and this is a perfect way to use them.

Julian's Classic Ham Loaf
Now as you may know, I'm from Ohio originally and that's right next door to Pennsylvania. Both states have a large community of "Pennsylvania Dutch" and they seem to have the claim to inventing ham loaf. Visit Lancaster County, PA or the central valley and Amish country of Ohio and the savory loaf is everywhere. In fact, just 50 miles from the Ohio border resides one of the only two commercial ham loaf makers in the USA who ship it nationwide. If you are looking to simply order one online go to Gahr's Ham Loaf Company where you will find plenty of information on ham loaf, and tackle the controversial issue of the traditional glaze. (smile)

Moist and Delicious ~ Nothing Tastes Quite Like It
It really is the glaze that makes the ham loaf spectacular and below I give you my favorite recipe. Also note you can make ham loaf balls using this same recipe which make an excellent appetizer dish for parties.

Julian Grinding the Ham
Unless you live in 'ham loaf country' you'll likely have to grind your own ham. While ground pork is readily available everywhere, ground ham is not and it's a 50/50 proposition. Save up about a pound of ham pieces from the holiday ham. Freeze it if you like and when you are ready to make this wonderful dish, thaw and grind it using a meat grinder. I used my grinder attachment on the KitchenAid mixer, and I selected the large grind blade. It makes quick and easy work of the job.

Ground pork and ham.
1 pound ground pork (approx)
1 pound ground ham (approx)
3 eggs
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
10 saltine crackers, crushed
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 medium onion finely chopped
1 tablespoon stone ground mustard
1 teaspoon dry mustard
3 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
Ready to Loaf
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
4-5 grinds fresh black pepper
1-4 tablespoons milk

3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

Mix all of the ham loaf ingredients together, except the milk, in a large mixing bowl until thoroughly combined. The mixture should be sticky and soft and just hold a shape. If it is dry, mix in milk until you get the proper consistency. Do not use the milk if not required. Shape into a loaf shape as shown with a flat end at front and back (not football shaped.)  Place in a baking dish without a rack.

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

Add the glaze ingredients to a small pot and cook over medium-low heat, stirring regularly. When the sugar is dissolved and the mustard combined, remove from heat. Spoon 3-4 tablespoons over the ham loaf. Cover the loaf with foil or a lid. Place in the preheated oven and bake 20 minutes. Remove the foil and baste with drippings and spoon more glaze over the loaf. Return to oven uncovered and bake for 30 minutes more, glazing the loaf with drippings and the pan glaze every 10 minutes.

Resting Before Cutting
Remove from oven and let sit for 15-20 minutes before serving.

Ready to Serve


  1. This looks great!!! I had to use ground ham once and I got a few end pieces of ham from the deli guy at WF, he gave me a break on it too!!

    I look forward to making this.. great comfort food.

  2. If you've never had it, Deana, you are in for a real treat.