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Jun 8, 2005 04:03 PM

Southern Maryland Stuffed Ham -- Chaptico Market and ISO Recipe

  • j

There was a small outbreak of food poisoning years ago during Southern Maryland Church Dinner season (around October iirc) that was traced to the stuffed ham. I believe that stricter food-processing safeguards are now in place and I am happy to say that i have enjoyed the stuffed ham from the Chaptico Market in Chaptico, MD several times lately with no ill effects. Just last weekend I happened to walk through the kitchen there and it looks really nice. Very organized and very clean. Their fried chicken is pretty good too.

Does anyone out there have a recipe for this delicacy?

You folks in New Jersey don't know what you're missing.

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  1. Hi John, New Jersey here. How about a description of Maryland Stuffed Ham? I would love to know more about it. I also would like to ask any Maryland 'Hounds about a 'Maryland BBQ Beef Sandwich'. I remember reading about them a few years ago in the NY Daily News.

    12 Replies
    1. re: Drew

      It's a country ham (which around there is called "old ham") and at some point in the preparation you cut slits into it and stuff in a mixture of chopped kale and sundry herbs and spices, mostly peppery stuff. Oh dang it is good. It is a staple of the church dinners around there, which usually include stuffed ham, turkey, fried oysters and a bunch of side dishes. I can not wait for October to come so that I can go get some church dinners. Oh and btw I am pretty sure that it is *Southern* Maryland Stuffed Ham. I believe that the dish is not found in the northern, more mid-Atlantic regions of the state.

      1. re: john clark

        Sounds tasty! Please head to the Home Cooking board and start a new thread to discuss recipes, although we hope that people come up with some tips on where to find it locally, on this thread.


        1. re: The Chowhound Team

          My parents make it regularly. Am posting more info on the other board.


          1. re: shellymck

            Southern Maryland Stuffed Ham is a delicacy that is prepared with a corned ham and then is stuffed with onions, kale, cabbage, and spices. It is then boiled in water for several hours. You'll never have anything better.

      2. re: Drew

        Drew, I will take on your BBQ Beef question. What you are referring to is our Pit Beef Sandwiches, a Baltimore area staple. Small shacks set up next to the road where they charbroil beef (and sometimes fresh ham, turkey, & ham) and hopefully hand slice (hate deli slicers!) a mound cooked to your specs and put it on bread of choice. You add the condiments, mine being horseradish, onion, s&p, and most of these fine meals are eaten on the spot in the car or maybe a picnic table nearby. You cannot drive on the Eastern side of Baltimore without seeing one every 2 minutes with the biggest line-up being along rt.40. Just look for a PIT BEEF sign, make sure it is a shack not a store, pick the longest line and best smell. and pack some cold beers and paper towels. Take out only! My favorite film reference is the John Water's movie "Pecker" where the Balt. blue-collared family's grandmother ran a pit beef stand in front of their house and people would honk for a sandwich. Very accurate.

        1. re: jck

          That was it 'Pit Beef', I've been wanting to try it since I read about it a few years ago, trouble is I usually just drive through Baltimore on I95. Thanks for the info, I definately am going to make it a point to stop!

          1. re: Drew

            FYI, the only times that I actually stop off for Pit Beef are when I'm traveling between DC and Connecticut (or vice versa) on Rte. 95. If you jump off of 95 onto Route 40 you can find a couple of stands heading west (all on the "wrong" side of the divided road, unfortunately), and a slightly higher concentration heading east. Then, once your meat craving has been satiated you can really easily just hop right back onto the highway ... no complicated directions or danger of getting lost.

            A couple of years ago on an earlier Pit Beef thread on this board I learned another important fact ... many of the stands will also sell just the corners, burnt edges of the roast and smaller, off-sized bits as "Burnt Ends," and they sell it cheap. I once bought a package for about three bucks that must have contained two full pounds of meat. Very tasty for sandwiches at home when you're not quite as concerned about things disintegrating all over the inside of your car.

            1. re: Nate Martin

              That is great advice for driving along 95 to hit Rt. 40 since they run side by side and any exit will do.
              The burnt corners story is very true and also brings to mind another Md. tradition....the Bull Roast, where the menu basically is Pit Beef and beer in all you can devour portions. Throw in a cheesy live band and after many beers everyone is doing the "Chicken Dance". I always went home with burnt corners bags that fed me for days when I was younger. The only thing better is the Bull and Oyster Roast, where unlimited raw bivalves are also on the menu. These are usually fund raisers for anything from rec sports leagues to church groups. Great stuff!!

        2. re: Drew

          as far as stuffed hams go there is a place that does them that ships

          called brandy farms hams phone is 410-721-6368

          they are located in Anne arundel County

          1. re: Drew

            If you have not received the recipe for Southern Maryland Stuffed Ham please let me know and I will send it to you. In fact, I have one in the pot right now. We lived in Lexington Park. MD when my children were young and every Christmas that is their most requested item.


            1. re: Jean

              Hi Jean - I have not received a recipe and would like to have it to make this for New Yrs.. my mom alwasys served it and she died this year and I want to try to buy one and have it delivered or make one myself! Thanks

            2. re: Drew

              HI folks, John is wrong about the small outbreak in Southern Md. My family, 4 of them almost died from this largest outbreak in History. The market you are referring to in Chaptico is filthy dirty in the back. People smoke, touch their hair and every other health violation you can imagine. Stuffed ham needes to be monitored with temperatures and wash, wash, wash your hands. Salmonella and ecoli kill people. People used to laugh about Listeria, todate 26 people have died.

            3. Ok..several years later, but better than never. NJ native here introduced to stuffed ham by a MD native senior chief petty officer (Bill Gardiner) who worked for me in Lex Park. Slits in a ham stuffed with mixed greens and herbs...then boiled, if memory serves me, while wrapped in cheesecloth. Exquisite!! Sure do miss So. MD...oysters...crab...spend many a night at Evan's Seafood there, too.

              1. Stuffed Ham recipes tend to be individual and family specific but the process is all pretty much the same so if you have a couple of day just wing one with your own tastes in mind.

                You need to prep a real country ham per the standard instructions. (ie: Soak in water for a couple of days changing the water at least twice)

                Once you are ready for the primary preparation - cut a bunch of deep slits in the ham and stuff with chopped kale, minced union, seasoned with black pepper.

                Prep a lot of Kale and onion mixture (doctor it up a bit if you want - but the Kale is key)

                Don't worry about the appearance or trying to get all of the stuffing in.

                After you have jammed in as much stuffing as you can into the slits - wrap the ham in an inverted 100% cotton pillow case and dump in the rest of the kale mixture (That is why you do not really have to worry about having too much.) - tie the pillow case tightly with kitchen twine

                Low boil it in a pot large enough to submerge the ham for 4-5 hours replacing enough water to keep the ham submerged.

                Bring it out and cut open the pillow case and discard.

                Cut the ham and pile it onto you serving platter/tray of choice with the greens scatterd around.

                Serve with the pot liquor and beaten biscuits (good luck with those - regular baking powder biscuits will do as a substitution)

                BTW - I'm pretty sure the food poisoning scare from a couple of years back was the result of a church "pot luck" - if you follow safe food handling practices it will be OK.

                If you haven't guessed - these things are a bear to make which is why mostly you only find them at picnics and pot luck dinners.

                I swap out meaty Ham Hocks and cheese cloth to do them at home in a normal sized stock pot. and I don’t make more than a couple of slits in the hock and just let the greens flavor the liquor. Not quite the same but a close approximation and I don't have to pre-soak for a couple of days.