Tag Archives: ground mustard

Is a Ham Pattie Just a Ham-Burger?

There are disputes about whether the singular of patties is patty or pattie. I’m making a stand for the -ie version, for no good reason.

I baked a boneless half ham in the grill Monday in my cast iron Dutch oven, and that leaves at least two days of what to do with leftovers. Tuesday, some of it became the ham patties shown here, and Wednesday, the last bit goes into a ham and rice casserole.

To make the patties, I halved the spice amounts from my ham loaf recipe and used egg and seasoned bread crumbs to hold it all together. Still, these ham patties are not as dense as a ham loaf, mostly because of the absence of the ground pork that holds the cooked ham together. Trying to keep cooked meat together into any shape is never easy. Shaping, coating, and turning the patties in a pan are delicate processes, sort of like those fish cakes I made a few weeks ago. But it can be done, and it’s a nice change of pace for leftover ham. They can be eaten with or without a bun, but I think the bun invites dressing it up with slaw or grilled vegetables or ranch dressing. My husband is choosing not to eat them with buns, while I’m going to use a soft ciabatta roll and grilled portobello caps marinated in olive oil and balsamic vinegar to make mine more of a burger.

Ham Patties

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Set up grill for direct heat.

1 pound cooked ham, ground in food processor or meat grinder

1/2 small onion, grated

1/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs (fresh breadcrumbs would add more moisture)

1 large egg

1/2 teaspoon each curry powder, fresh grated ginger, ground mustard

1/4 teaspoon each paprika, nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon each salt & pepper

1/4 cup milk or more to achieve moist consistency that holds together

1/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs for dusting

olive oil for frying

  1. Mix all ingredients together as you would for meatloaf.
  2. Divide into fourths, shaping each into a pattie. Refrigeration for at least a half hour can help hold the mixture together, but is not necessary.
  3. Dust both sides of each pattie carefully as you hold it in your hand. Pat the crumbs on lightly. You just want a little barrier between the patties and the hot skillet.
  4. Place skillet over direct heat on grill, adding about 2 tablespoons oil before the pan gets too hot. You don’t have the same control on a grill as you have on the stove, and your pan can get very hot quickly. As soon as the oil begins to heat, place the patties in the pan.
  5. Cook about 4 minutes on each side, until browned. I used two spatulas to turn them, so they wouldn’t break up. My second side browned better than the first, because I was impatient.

If you’re grilling some vegetables, do those first, removing them to indirect heat while you cook the meat.

For my mushroom caps, I used 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, and 1 teaspoon salt, marinating them in a zippered bag for about 1/2 hour.



Boston Baked Beans

My Mar-Crest Daisy Dot casserole is getting old. There’s a chip on the inside rim of the lid that has started a hairline fracture, so I should probably just save it for display, but right now it’s the only covered stoneware casserole I have, so it was called into duty for baked beans. It was my mother’s and I also got a regular bean pot from her, but those traditional narrow-necked pots are hard to deal with, so I gave that one to my daughter for her own display of crockery.

My casserole is small, only 1.5 quarts, so one pound of navy beans doesn’t quite fit. Maybe more than 3/4 lb, but not quite one. I don’t think baked beans could be any easier; it’s just the oven time invested, but on a day when you have other work around the house to keep you busy, it’s not a lot of work to tend to them every few hours just to add more bean liquor. They come out sweet and saucy, but not cloyingly sweet. I left the house for a little shopping and there were no disasters. I know you’d like them for that summer picnic, but who wants to have the oven on all day in the summer? You can probably find a slow-cooker recipe for good baked beans in the summer. This cold, early spring seemed like a good time to have the oven on.

Boston Baked Beans

  • Servings: 4-8 depending on purpose
  • Difficulty: easy
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Prepare the beans:

1 lb navy beans

6 cups water

You can soak your beans overnight and finish the cooking in the oven, but I use the quick-soak method, cooking them to nearly done:

  1. Rinse and sort beans—yes, you can still find stones and dirt in dried beans today. I rinse my beans in warm water several times, squishing them between my fingers to get some friction going to knock off any dirt. Stones are not too hard to see if you slowly pour them into your saucepan.
  2. Cover with 6 cups of water. Bring to boil and boil for 1 minute. Cover, turn off heat, and let sit for one hour.
  3. Bring to a second boil, then simmer for about 30 minutes. I have had undercooked beans refuse to finish cooking after adding ingredients like salt and sugar. Plus, if my beans are not close to their full-cooked size, they can expand in the oven and overflow your pot if it’s full. I don’t find that this last step of cooking adversely affects the texture of the beans in the final dish.
  4. Strain the beans, reserving the bean liquor.

Preheat oven to 300°

Prepare the casserole:

1 lb pre-cooked or soaked navy beans

1 onion, diced

3-4 oz salt pork cut in 1-2 inch squares (I cut off the rind)—yes, bacon is good with beans, but I think salt pork stands up better to the long cooking.

1/4 cup unsulphured molasses

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup tomato sauce, unseasoned

1/2 teaspoon ground mustard

4-6 cups bean liquor from pre-cooking or fresh water or stock

Optional: salt & pepper, if you are not using salt pork or you know how salty it might be

  1. Combine the beans and onion. Put half in casserole and top with half the salt pork. Mix together molasses, brown sugar, and tomato sauce and pour half over beans.
  2. Add remaining beans and onion and cover with remaining salt pork. Pour the rest of the molasses mixture on top.
  3. Pour in bean liquor to just cover the beans. In my casserole, it comes right to the top of the dish, and about 1 cup of cooked beans don’t fit in the dish.
  4. Cover and bake for 6-8 hours, checking every two hours to see if the liquid has been absorbed by the beans. You can tell if the top looks dry and you see no liquid at the edges. Slowly pour in bean liquor to the top and return to oven, covered. I used up all my reserved bean liquor and the beans came out saucy, but not soupy. If you think there is too much liquid, just remove the cover for the last 1/2-1 hour. You want a nice, thick sauce with your beans.
  5. I did not add any salt and we thought they had just the right amount of saltiness. I understand that some people blanch their salt pork to remove a little salt first, but I don’t find that to be necessary.

There is no comparison between baked beans made from canned beans and those made from dried beans. Give it a try, if only to say you did it once.

Spicy-Sweet Ham Loaf

The spices really make this meatloaf—don’t skip them.

I have lots of recipes handwritten on slips of paper. Today, I would just be bookmarking them on a device. I remember where some of them came from, but not all. I used to watch the cooking shows on the local PBS station, most memorably, Nathalie Dupree’s New Southern Cooking, Marcia Adams’ Amish Cooking from Quilt Country and Heartland Cooking, and Julia Child’s The French Chef, Cooking with Master Chefs and bits and pieces of most of her other series when available. This was long before the 24/7 availability of cooking channels but most of them were available when there were VCRs. I used to tape the shows as I watched them, so I could go back and write down recipes, stopping the tape to let my writing catch up. I suppose some other recipes could have been copied from the so-called women’s magazines. What can I say? I have a long interest in home cooking. It’s too bad more people have not learned how to cook and are left to rely on pre-packaged food or eating in fast food restaurants all the time. Cooking from scratch can be much more economical.

I’m not sure where this great recipe came from. It sounds like something Marcia Adams would have created, but it’s definitely not her upside down ham loaf that is all over the web. I generally did not elaborate on instructions, which mostly works out, but sometimes it leaves me scratching my head and improvising.


I only made one  addition and one change to the recipe. The only ground pork I could find was reduced fat—fat is the whole reason you use pork!—so I added 1 tablespoon of bacon fat that I had waiting in the fridge for just such an occasion. The other change had to do with that oddly inserted line, 2 T lemon. Lemon what? Juice? Zest? Both seem like odd additions, and the line looks like it was squeezed in. Well, I didn’t have any lemons, but I have a jar of dried Valencia orange peel, so I added 1/2 teaspoon of that. I don’t know if it made a difference, but it didn’t hurt.

Spicy-Sweet Ham Loaf

  • Servings: about 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Preheat oven to 375°


  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 lb ground cooked ham
  • 2 cups bread crumbs (I used soft crumbs from fresh whole wheat bread)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried orange peel or fresh citrus zest from one orange or lemon (adjusted from mystery ingredient in original recipe)
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon bacon fat or lard if your meats are too lean
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (not in original recipe)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper (not in original recipe)


Mix all ingredients and shape into loaf in large baking dish. Bake in preheated oven for about one hour or until center registers about 160°. Baste with sauce (below) for the last half hour. Remove from oven to sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Basting Sauce

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup vinegar (I used rice vinegar)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Bring all to boil in small saucepan. It is  not a thick glaze, but it does glaze the loaf with frequent basting, plus some of it soaks in at the bottom. Pour over enough to cover the loaf after the first half hour of baking, then baste the loaf every 10 minutes thereafter, using up the rest of the mixture. You might go over the baking time with opening the door so often. This sauce makes a splattered mess of your baking dish, but it washes right off in the dishwasher.