One of the easiest ways to make use of leftover ham is to prepare a tasty chopped ham loaf. Similar to the traditional meat loaf, it combines a few simple ingredients with the leftover ham to create a new entrée that serves as the focus of a simple and tasty meal. Just about any type of cooked ham can be used as part of the basic recipe, although most versions call for smoked ham.
One to two pounds of smoked ham provides the basis for the recipe. The meat can be chopped into small pieces, or ran through a meat grinder. Along with the ham, a few simple spices will help to provide extra flavor. Salt, pepper, a little garlic powder, and parsley are often recommended. A small amount of chopped onion will also help to give the finished ham loaf plenty of taste.
To create the binding agents for the recipe, use ingredients that are already in the kitchen. Instant oatmeal mixed with an egg and evaporated milk will help produce a creamy texture. Once the binder is ready, combine with the meat and spices and form the ham mixture into a loaf.
In order to help the ham loaf remain moist during the cooking process, combine a little brown sugar and vinegar to make a glaze. Pour the glaze over the loaf and bake according to the instructions contained in the individual recipe. Generally, any recipe for a ham loaf will have the entrée ready in an hour. With a little garnish, the ham loaf will provide a visually appealing centerpiece for the meal, as well as being a nice alternative to traditional meat loaf.
There are a number of variations on the preparation of ham loaf. Some recipes include the use of spicy mustards, while others may call for the preparation of a light gravy made with ham drippings to serve along with the ham loaf. Different herbs and spices may be added to suit the tastes of the family. If there is no evaporated milk in the house, half-and-half can be substituted.