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best way to make use of my meaty meaty hambone....

  • j

I have managed to widdle away at my ham from the christmas holiday, and after many meals of ham sandwiches, ham fried rice, ham omellettes, and ham and crackers, i have finally conceded to just throwing the rest in a pot. BUT HOW?
any suggestions? i was thiking a nice lentil soup, but how? what else is good for dispensing of a meaty hambone?
i don't have a dog, but i do have a husband, and while they are sometimes interchangeable, in this matter i cant pretend and just serve him the bone on a plate (even though i would prefer it that way, he is not as carnivourous as i am.)

Thanks in advance for any suggestions and happy new year.

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  1. I got a hold of the leftover ham bone from the office (long story), and made a simple, yet awesome, split pea soup.

    6 Replies
    1. re: AlanH

      how?
      what exactly is a plit pea?
      i have only ever had canned split pea soup, and therefore, i hate the stuff, but Rob likes it and he keeps asking me to make it.
      what is it exactly?
      is it really mushy peas?
      dried peas?
      beans?

      1. re: jupiter

        Split peas are little green peas. When soaked, then cooked correctly they essentially turn into a thick green mush. I used my leftover ham from Turkey Day to make a delicious batch with fresh (albeit leftover) veggies (onions, carrots, celery, peppers, etc.).

        the link below is an example of one recipe (from Google)

        The peas come in a bag (or may be bought in bulk) and can be found at most decent supermarkets.

        Link: http://www-2.cs.cmu.edu/~mjw/recipes/...

        1. re: Dax

          Green? Yellow split pea soup can be even better. In either case, cook hambone with onion, garlic, celery, carrots. For seasoning, I usually use bay leaves, whole allspice, thyme, and black pepper. If the stock lacks salt and/or flavor, I add chicken bouillion or ham base. Cook the bone for 3 hrs with a whole onion, the base of a bunch of celery, a carrot or two (uncut, unpeeled), and several whole cloves of garlic (If the ham has a lot of fat, this step can be done in advance and the stock can be chilled and fat lifted off the top before proceding). In any case, before adding the dried peas and chopped veggies, strain the stock and discard what's in the strainer. If there is alot of ham on the bone, you can put it back into the soup. When your stock is ready, cook the peas (no point in pre-soaking) for 2-3 hours, stirring regularly, along with carrot slices, diced celery, and chopped onion. The stirring is to help break up the peas and to keep them from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Sometimes to vary the texture I will add pearl barley or (toward the end) diced potatoes. While this recipe does take some time, it is easy to do and does not require you to be in the kitchen, except occasionally to stir things up.

          1. re: e.d.

            My mother made split pea soup regularly (a welcome break from hamburgers every Weds. before religious ed!) and always served it to us with garnishes of fresh chopped onion, finely diced fresh carrot, good crunchy homemade croutons, and small dice of a good swiss cheese. We all loved it, and I still serve it like this. People are usually surprised and pleased.

            1. re: annieb

              Wow, what a great idea. I will adopt this fresh-garnish technique for my split pea soup. Thank your mother!

        2. re: jupiter

          If you go to the dried beans, or dried soup mix section of your supermarket you will see packages of Split peas. There are green ones and also yellow ones. Usually thre's a half decent recipe on the back of the package. They are pretty much dried peas.

      2. If I had that ham bone, I wouldn't have to think twice. Navy bean soup! I'll attach a link to the U.S. Senate bean soup, as a starting point. I use half water and half chicken stock, and like to add a good dollop of a spicy chili sauce to the soup at some point. It freezes well, if any is left. I like a loose stock that I dunk my cornbread into.

        It's worth buying a ham, just to get the bone! Pat

        Link: http://members.aol.com/msluv2cook/Sav...

        1. Split peas are dried peas. They are called "split" because the are already broken in the package when you buy them. Unlike other dried pulses (beans, peas, and lentils), in split peas, the brokenness is desirable.

          I finally came round to split pea soup when I passed 30. My husband loves it and begs for it often. I laughed at your "interchangeable" comment. My dogs would love to trade places with my husband for a hambone too.

          Split Pea soup

          1 package (usually 16 ounces) dried split peas
          8 cups water, or use half-and-half with homemade chicken stock
          3 carrots, diced
          3 stalks celery, diced smaller than the carrots
          1 clove of garlic, minced
          1 onion, either minced or grated (your preference)
          1 teaspoon dried oregano
          1 teaspoon dried thyme
          Salt to taste (start with a 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt -- the meat may contribute a lot of salt depending on the cure)
          White pepper to taste (about 1/2 teaspoon to start)
          1 hambone, or 2 hamhocks, or 3 smoked sausages, thinly sliced.

          If there is any sliceable meat to take of the hambone, do so and cut into uniform bite sized pieces. Leave a good amount on the hambonee. If you are using hamhocks, leave them as is. If you are using smoked sausages, leave them in the refrigerator until later.

          Place all the ingredients (if you are using the hocks or the hambone) in a large pot. Stir to incorporate occasionally as this comes to a boil. Don't let it get to a full boil, but rather let it break a boil and then reduce heat quickly to as low as your burner will go to maintain a simmer. Cover the soup and let it simmer, stirring occasionally to make sure it's not burning to the bottom, for at least 3 hours. Any additional bits of meat should be coming off the bones by now. If they need to be broken up, take two long forks and shred them into the soup as it cooks.

          (If you are using smoked sausages, after 3 hours has elapsed, take them out of the refrigerator, slice them thinly, and let them cook in the simmering, covered soup for an additional 1/2 hour).

          Turn off the heat, stir to break up any lumped-together peas (it should be uniformly grean and have dissolved almost completely into a pea-y mass, and not be individual peas anymore), and let sit uncovered for at least 15 minutes before serving.

          Serve in wide shallow bowls, as this is very hot, and you may grate Parmigiano-Reggiano over this if you like. It's good with a grind or two of black pepper, but this should be done at the table, as some people object to black pepper in this soup.

          Some people puree this in the blender or with an immersian blender, or put it through a chinois before eating. I never do, as I prefer the little soft chunks of carrots and celery that make it through the simmering. Do as your taste dictates.

          This makes about 6-8 dinner-type servings.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Mrs. Smith

            It's a tough call between this and the Senate White Bean Soup recipe.

            A mix of hambone and smoked hamhocks makes for a richer flavor, I think. My wife and I like to wait until the soup's finished cooking, then pull out the hamhock and separate the meat, shred and put it back in.

            Also, I like to mix in a little warmed sherry when serving.

            My mother is a big fan of the yellow split peas she found at the Dekalb Farmer's Market in Atlanta (#87 in the new Saveur 100). Have bought some but haven't tried them yet. This weekend's cold weather may be a good excuse.

            1. re: ted

              Pea soup is food of the Gods, but it cries out for smoked hamhocks. A hambone is great in a big pot of pinto or navy beans w/cornbread and collards. How I wish I had a big meaty hambone to do with as I pleased!

              1. re: ted

                I instantly thought Senate White Bean soup (Joy of Cooking). Well, not instantly, I was first thinking amusing things about the title of this thread.

                1. re: yumyum

                  Yeah. I heard that song on the radio once. Gritty, gritty blues number. "... going to Chicago, to get my hambone boiled ..."

            2. Although I am a big fan of split pea soup and would use the bone for that another possibility is baked beans. A ham bone makes for really good baked beans.

              1. All great suggestions, but where's the folks from the New Orleans board? Make some red beans with it! The basics are pretty easy, just saute some onions and maybe a little bit of green pepper, toss in the bone, presoaked red beans and cover with water add your favourite spices, but be sure to include a bay leaf or two and some thyme and let it all cook down until its nice and thick. After cooking long enough you can pull the bone out, take the meat off the bone, toss the meat back into the pot and get rid of the bone as well as any excess fatty peices you can pick out. At some point you can toss in some sausage or if you want just wait until your done and serve it along side over some nice rice.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Jambalaya

                  Red beans, yes, definitely. Don't forget the garlic (lots of garlic), some hot sauce, maybe some minced parsley.

                  Garlic.