Thursday, April 10, 2014

Old Fashioned Ham Balls

Old Fashioned Ham Balls Recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen
Savory ham meatballs are coated in a thick, sticky, sweet and sour glaze and then baked in the oven until piping hot and irresistible. You know those foods that stick in your memory? These ham balls are one of those recipes. I tried one when they were still piping hot form the oven. I burned my mouth and then, despite the burn, I ate another one while they were still way too hot. They are that good. My family loved them and they managed to eat this entire batch of meatballs in less than 24 hours.

My friend Rebecca warned me about these crazy ham balls. We were talking months ago and she mentioned that she makes these in lieu of a traditional ham for the holidays. My family LOVES our favorite ham, so I couldn't even imagine not making our ham. However, I get it now. I'll still be making another ham this year, but these ham balls now have first place in the lineup of favorite "leftover ham recipes."

COOK'S NOTE: If you've never ground your own meat before, do not be intimidated. This was a first for me as well and it will definitely not be the last time. I bought an inexpensive meat grinder just for this recipe. (That is not an affiliate link. I just wanted to show you the model I used.) It was super easy to use and I can hardly wait to try it again with different meats!

Old Fashioned Ham Balls
recipe lightly adapted from Foodie with Family
Yield: 12-16 servings, approximately 70 meatballs
(printable recipe)

Meatball Ingredients:
2 pounds leftover ham
2 pounds ground pork
4 eggs
1 1/4 cups milk
1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs (gluten free panko will work fine as well)

Glaze Ingredients:
3 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons ground mustard powder

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease (2) 9x13 baking dishes with oil and set aside. Use the coarse setting on your meat grinder to grind the leftover ham. If you don't have a meat grinder, you can use a food processor to pulse until it is chopped like hamburger meat.

Combine all the meatball ingredients in a large bowl and mix with your hands until combined. Roll into 1 1/2" - 2" meatballs. I use a medium size cookie scoop to scoop them all the same size before smoothing them with my hands. Arrange the meatballs in the baking pans and set aside.

Whisk together all the glaze ingredients in a medium size saucepan over medium high heat. Bring to a boil, whisking until the sugar has dissolved. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 4-5 minutes, until the sauce has thickened.

Pour the glaze over the ham balls, dividing it between the two pans. Bake the ham balls, uncovered, for 75-85 minutes, until the ham balls have browned and the sauce has reduced to a syrupy consistency. Enjoy!

FREEZER MEAL: Let the meatballs cool and then transfer to a freezer safe Ziploc or an airtight container. Pour all remaining glaze over them and press out any air. Let thaw in the refrigerator before reheating covered in the oven, on the stove-top or in the microwave.

Old Fashioned Ham Balls Recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen

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  1. I wonder what other sides would go well with these for Easter dinner.

    1. I think they'd work work with just about anything. :)

    2. We love them with roasted and/or glazed sweet potatoes and/or carrots! Mashed sweet potatoes, rice, bread... Shoot. I feel like Bubba in Forest Gump now.

    3. Whoa baby... Those hamballs look fabulous. And now I can't wait for next weekend to get working on these. Must. Make. Hamballs!

  2. I've always wanted to try ham balls! I'm skipping a big ham this Easter so I think these are going on the menu. Yum!

  3. These sound really good but I must admit to never having heard of ham meatballs, so I learned something here today.

  4. I can see why these would be delicious!


  5. I've never heard of a hamball! Now I have another meatball to add to my growing collection, pinned!

  6. Would a food processor work?

    1. Yes, you can use a food processor. It is mentioned in the recipe. :)

  7. I have been looking for a good ham ball recipe and because you always have MARVELOUS recipes, I will give this first go. It does sound delicious. Thank you for passing this on. :)


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