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Ham bone help needed! (Split pea soup need not apply)

So I have a hambone with a good amount of ham still clinging to it left over from a tree-trimming party, and I HATE split pea soup. What else can I do with my bounty?


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  1. Make a pot of red beans or white beans.

    1. As someone who really doesn't like mushrooms and has had more than her share of "are you SURE you don't like mushrooms?", I am going to ask this cautiously. Maybe you should try a different split pea soup recipe? Is it a texture or a taste issue? I make mine with curry and lots of cayenne, and it comes out a lovely hammy puree. That being said, I second the navy bean soup suggestion.

      Ham bones are also good when cooking pinto beans for refrieds (if the ham isn't too honey-based).

      1. We have a family soup which we call Hooley Gooley, and I think the name comes from all the stuff that went into it...I will try to sum it up...

        1. Ham bone with whatever meat left...trim fat to some extent..
        big chunks of ham can be removed from the bone...and put into the pot...but I do try to get rid of some of the fat..as much as I can.
        2. About 1/2 cup each of about five kinds of dried beans...no need to soak...kidney, pintos, baby limas, red beans, black beans...it truly does not matter.
        3. Large can of diced tomatoes....with liquid...
        4. Celery, a couple of stalks chopped or sliced..more if you love celery...
        5. Onions...a big onion, more to taste...sliced...

        Water to cover...honestly, I cannot judge how much water...can always add more if necessary...

        hummmmmmm, trying to think of what else...carrots, but we add toward the end...

        Well...put it all into a big pot, bring to simmer, cover, simmer for a few hours...until all beans are tender...two, three...some beans will cook faster than others...such as the limas so you may add 1/2 hour into the cooking...but when they 'pop' it adds to the thickness...remember, this is 'home grown'.. You can also add a bullion cube later in the cooking if you feel it needs more flavor...or chicken...won't matter, or instead of water use reduced sodium chicken stock or part stock/part water.... Some pepper can be added, but as ham is salty I avoid any salt until the end, if needed.

        When beans are almost cooked, add some baby carrots or sliced carrots and cook until tender.

        Remove bone with ham..take off the ham, trim,cut into bite or soup size pieces.. return to the pot.

        I know, I know...a 'home grown soup' but it is truly hearty and wonderful, serve with garlic bread or any fab crusty bread and butter. The left overs will get thicker as I think the beans continue absorbing the liquid.

        We often buy ham bones just to make this soup.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Jesdamala

          We make a similar soup - try it with the juice of two lemons toward the very end and fresh parsley. Yum!

        2. Black bean soup comes out amazing well when you use a ham bone. Find a recipe that looks good for the soup and while you are cooking the beans put the ham bone in along with the onions, stock and aromatics. You can even slice off some of the ham bits and add them to the soup and the end or just put the whole bone in (pieces and all) for flavor and remove it before pureeing the beans. I don't like split pea soup either.

          1. Portugese Bean Soup - (substitute the ham bone for the ham hocks)

            12 ounces Portuguese sausage (or other garlicky sausage), sliced into 1⁄4-inch slices
            1 large onion, chopped coarsely
            2 big carrots, chopped coarsely
            4 cups chicken stock
            1⁄2 pound tomato, peeled and diced
            1 Tablespoon tomato paste
            2 or more ham shanks (smoked pork hocks)
            3 potatoes, peeled and cubed
            1-2 bay leaves
            1 teaspoon or so paprika
            chili oil or cayenne, to taste
            salt and pepper
            2 15-ounce cans dark red kidney beans
            In a Dutch oven, sauté the sausage slices with the onions and carrots over medium heat until the onion is soft, stirring from time to time. Add the remaining ingredients--except for the beans--bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours.
            Fifteen minutes before serving, remove the hocks and pick off the meat, discarding the fat and bones. Mince the meat and return to the pot with the beans, juice and all. Let simmer for a few minutes, then ladle up into bowls and dig in--'ai a ma'ona. Da best!

            1. If you don't mind beans, ham bone soup is one of life's great pleasures, esp. after sitting overnight.

              1. The trick I think to cooking dried beans is a very slow simmer..of course, depends on the bean. I agree, ham bone soup is a joy and a pleasure. You must like it thicker, it does get so after sitting...I like it fresh off the stove and with lots of liquid, but we make a huge pot and slurp it for days! It does thicken, as I mentioned.

                1. I just made a turkey stew with drop noodles. During the stock-making, I discovered in my freezer a ham bone with some meat still on. What the heck - I threw it in with all the stock ingredients, and proceded as usual. Turned out wonderfully - the stew had a rich flavor, but in no way "hammy." I would definitely do it again.

                    1. Shrimp and Ham Jambalaya. Heaven. Add the shrimp at the last 20 minutes. But the rest, the ham, rice, some diced tomatoes as I remember, thyme, bay leaf... don't see how it could be without onions, green pepper, and celery...

                      1. I too have one in the fridge beckoning me. It will be cooked with a pot of navy beans. The beans are soaking and getting ready to cook in the morning for tomorrow night. Homemade olive&asiago bread for dunking and we're good to go!

                        Another one would be blackeyed peas. You don't need to soak them and they cook faster than most dried beans. Just add some serrano chilies and maybe a tomato or two, garlic, celery,carrot and onion, seasonings that I use are herbs de provence, thyme, salt and pepper, sometimes a ham flavored boullion cube,red pepper flakes. Let then simmer for a few hours. I mash my beans with a potato masher to get them thick. This is one of my favorite meals ever! I top the bowls of the glorius stuff with the following:
                        sour cream
                        red onion
                        fresh tomatoes
                        tobasco sauce

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: chef chicklet

                          Just an update, the navy bean soup with said "ham bone" made a huge crockpot full for last night's entree. It was SOOOOOO good. Much better than with ham hocks. The smoke flavor can detract for me anyway. Anyway, It was just the best. I left it on warm for my son who got out of school last night at around 10pm. The pot is empty this morning. Great use of a fine ham bone, Never ever throw it away!!!

                        2. Cook in a pot with chard or green beans southern style maybe? I'm from NJ though, and we frown on taking extraordinary measures against any green bean not from a can.

                          Might also be good in a cabbage or potato soup? Or would that be gross? I can't decide...

                          Every post-Easter season, my grandmother plagues the family with jars of green stuff that evokes memories of "The Exorcist," so I totally empathize on the pea soup issue...

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: Heatherb

                            Hmmm - I do love greens - that's a great idea! Maybe a greens soup?

                            1. re: macrogal

                              Or an escarole and white bean soup?

                              1. re: macrogal

                                If you don't like bean soups, Greens soups are yummy!

                                My absolutely favourite use for a ham bone is Somma Borscht - It's a Mennonite soup with a ham stock, potatoes, dill and lots of greens. Sorrel is the best, but I've made it with beet greens or chard as well.
                                Add some sour cream at the end for a yummy soup. My Oma used to add chopped up hard boiled eggs too.

                                Now I wish I had this soup in my fridge instead of my ham, white bean and kale soup!

                            2. Gumbo z'Herbes.

                              This is a traditional New Orleans Lenten gumbo made without meat and with seven different types of greens such as spinach, collards, watercress, parsley, carrot tops, cabbage, etc. Now, it is often made with a hambone and fewer greens.
                              Best described as a pot of greens with a lot of pot likker.
                              It was served on Good Friday. The superstitious Creoles believed that if you ate seven Herbes and met seven people during the day, you would have good luck in the coming year.

                              It has neither a roux nor okra base. It is generally not served with rice or file. So I have no idea why it is called a gumbo - other than tradition.

                              1. Here's the mirror image response to your question: in case anybody NEEDS a hambone for making soup and doesn't have occasion to bake a ham, the places that sell fancy spiral-cut hams (Honey Baked and other such) sell hambones. The spiral-cutting machine leaves a lot of ham on them, too. My experience is that during the holiday season when they're doing a lot of hams and platters they are extra-likely to have bones on hand---you could even freeze a couple--- but you might call before you go.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Querencia

                                  We always snag a few ham bones from Honeybaked after the holidays or even during the year. The have sometimes limited it to one per person..so, I just take a friend! In the freezer they go, or not, and my soup is always a ham bone away!

                                2. Here in the Caribbean we make rice and peas with our ham bone; it adds great flavour to the dish. The ingredients are simple:

                                  Peas (of your choice), you can use canned,drained
                                  Onions, diced
                                  Few sprigs of thyme
                                  Oil to saute onions
                                  Water (2:1) that is if you're using parboiled rice
                                  Salt & pepper to taste

                                  Saute onions, add thyme
                                  Add ham bone, continue saute
                                  Add rice, saute
                                  Add enough water (boiling) to cook rice
                                  Let boil for 5 mins and then reduce to simmer on low heat for 20 minutes and your done!
                                  You can cut up the meat from the bone and saute it with the onions so there's bits of meat throughout the dish.