I love to bake ham (the proper pronunciation in my neck of the woods is “ha-yum”). Its super simple, incredibly delicious, and yields enough to provide several meals. Whats more, anything that is left over is easily frozen to recycle into casseroles, beans, omelets, and more at a later date.
There are as many ways to cook and use a ham as there are stars in the sky. A lot of people like to put a glaze on theirs but my philosophy is: Why over complicate things? Ham tastes GOOD and when I take a bite of ham, I’m not expecting to taste maple or cinnamon or oranges, I just want to taste my ham!
That having been said, of course there isn’t anything wrong with making a glaze, its just that I prefer the taste on its own. So here is your basic “How To Cook A Ham” tutorial with a several options for getting more meals out of it!
You’ll need a shoulder, shank, picnic, or umm….rear ham. No, its not going to say “rear” but I can’t bring myself to type what it will say. Okay, I kinda just typed it, look in that sentence, find a word beginning in “b” and add another “t” to it. ~sighs~ I swear these things were named by men. A lady would have named it “tooshie ham” or “derriere ham”.
I put my ham on a baking sheet that has a lip on it because juices will come out and you don’t want them being spilled off into your oven. Encase your ham really well in Aluminum foil. Now all you do is turn your oven on 250 and cook all day. We are slow cooking this, basically using our oven as the original crock pot. I put mine on in the morning, around eight, and let it slow cook until supper time. I recommend you cook it for at least five hours, anything longer than that just adds to the tenderness so feel free to cook yours all day like I do!
I like to serve my ham with white beans, also known as Northern or Navy beans. What you are seeing here is basically a combination of Northern and Navy beans, I used a bag of each because I didn’t have enough of either one to make a really big pot. How do you cook these beans? That’s simple, just check out my tutorial on how to make dried beans, which is the exact method I used to cook these.
Dried beans are incredibly economical and filling. I make a large pot and then use them for two meals, once as a side dish and once as a main course as you’ll see in my next photo.
Po’ Folks Dinner (Po Folks Sure Do Eat Good!)
This is my first choice in recycling ham and beans. The following day, I heat up the beans and shred a good bit of ham to go in them. Serve this with cornbread and some chopped onions and don’t be surprised if wayward Southern bachelors don’t start lining up at your door!
Do you have a family who bristles at the thought of leftovers? A simple solution to this is to wait two days before recycling them into a new meal. If I have ham on Monday, I might wait until Wednesday to serve this ham and bean dish. This is an easy way to beat the “we had this last night!” whining. My family has yet to notice we are eating leftovers when I serve them this way!
But Mama’s Northern Beans Had This Gravy In Them…
I’ve had a lot of people email asking about the “gravy” their mothers used to have in their white beans. The good news is, that cooks up on its own! You’ll notice the liquid gets very thick when you cook dried beans, especially the longer you cook them. Just look at these photos (which I took specifically of the liquid so you could see).
Shortcut Ham Casserole
Faster than you can order a pizza!
Another thing I like to do for a super quick supper with leftover ham is chop it up and add it to a box of Au Gratin or Scalloped potatoes. Just prepare the potatoes according to box directions, stir in chopped ham, place in a 9×13 inch casserole dish and bake (according to package directions). This is home style convenience food at its finest!
My husband was pretty put off the first time that box of potatoes appeared but he got over it after his first bite of my ham “casserole”. If you want, you can also experiment with adding frozen vegetables to this. I like to add green beans :).
*Be sure to click on the ad at the bottom of this post to get a $10 book of Betty Crocker Coupons!
Other uses for leftover ham:
I could devote an entire website to this discussion but I’ll keep it to just a few here!
- Country Casserole is EXCELLENT with ham instead of chicken!
- Chop it up and add it to omelets for a great breakfast (or brunch…or dinner…or…)
- Bake up a can of biscuits (if you don’t want to make homemade) and have ham and biscuits! This is an excellent dinner idea (Southerners love our breakfast for dinner!). Serve with Fried Apples and Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole for a feast any Southern heart would bowl over for!
DON’T THROW AWAY YOUR HAM BONE!!
If you do, my ancestors will haunt you! Below are a couple of suggestions for using that bone. I like to keep a bit of ham on mine so when I use it, the dish will have ham in it as well. If you aren’t going to use it within a week, just put it in a ziploc bag and toss it in your freezer!
- A ham bone is the world’s best seasoning for dried beans – Just toss the whole thing in the pot while they cook and when they are done, remove it and take off bits of ham from it to put back in the pot when you serve your beans – YUM.
- A ham bone is also a GREAT seasoning for soups and stews! Let it cook in there the entire time and then discard after everything is done – making sure you get all of those delicious ham bits off of it first!
Now I’m hungry! What is worse though, is that I cannot stop thinking about the next recipe I am going to post for you. The perfect dessert, coffee treat, or indulgent snack – and its SUPER easy as well as incredibly impressive! Oh, oh oh, I can’ hardly wait!!! But I will, so be sure and tune in for my next post!
My son started back school yesterday but my daughter doesn’t go back until Monday. I have SO much to get caught up on with my email subscribers! Thank you all for your patience!
I hope you are all having a wonderful week! I’ve been busy running around getting some EXCITING things lined up for you in February! Stay tuned!
If you enjoy Southern Plate, please tell your friends!
Grateful to each and every one of you,