Thursday, April 10, 2014
Old Fashioned Ham Balls
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
2 pounds leftover ham
2 pounds ground pork
1 1/4 cups milk
1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs (gluten free panko will work fine as well)
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.
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