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What to do with a ham bone?

wwhat should I do with a bone from "honey baked ham" that my son bought for the paternal Thaksgiving dinner. I want to use it well, but have never made soup or anything else with a hambone.
Please give me suggestions and recipes that I can do justice to with such a nice leftover.

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  1. There are a ton of things to do with the bone; the obvious being soup or a pot of beans....if you like cabbage or greens (collards, kale, mixed greens etc), it's what ham is made for (IMO)...you can add the bone and some vegetables to a pot, simmer the heck out of it and you'll have ham stock, which you can freeze in portions to add to the above suggestions as well as au jus and red eye gravy, use to cook pasta or rice in, whip with potatoes for mashed, poach eggs in, etc. What kind of recipes are you looking for?

    1. One of the classic ways to use a hambone and since it's practically winter and time for soup, check this link for fourunder's split pea soup recipe. I saw it the other day and thought it was quite a good version. It's a good place to start.

      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/670848

      This link has other ideas for hambone use, for those who aren't taken with split pea soup:

      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/350347

      1. Pasta Fagioli....I love to cook the beans for this with a ham bone that still has some ham on it.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Infomaniac

          You can toss it into a crockpot with onion, carrots, celery and either green or yellow peas in the morning, and you've got dinner when you come home. The stock idea is a great one; it's tough to find premade ham stock.

          I am absolutely astonished how people carefully look for the bargains at the meat counter, and overlook the cheap bones for soup.

          1. re: miki

            THIS! My local market routinely stocks grassfed oxtails at a ridiculously cheap price but it seems like no one other than me buys them. I picked up some gorgeous ones last night plus a few of the bonier ones; I'll make stew with the fat ones and stock with the rest.

            As for the ham bone I second the idea for stock. I make a faux "split pea" soup using green beans and cauliflower and if I use ham stock except for the lighter texture you'd never guess it wasn't split pea.

            1. re: MandalayVA

              Oxtails are usually expensive, aren't they? I wonder why they're cheap at your market. Could you let us know your recipe?

              1. re: miki

                Oxtails are always much cheaper here....

                1. re: miki

                  No, oxtails are generally very cheap, even the grass-fed ones. I think the most expensive package I bought this week was about $2.50. As for my recipe, I generally use a beef stew recipe but I think I'm going to try something different with this batch.

          2. Split pea soup or "congressional bean soup" are two of my favorites. I usually make them in the crockpot and there is something magical about leaving for work with what is essentially a pot of water with stuff floating in it and coming back to find it has turned into soup.

            2 Replies
            1. re: jzerocsk

              "...coming back to find it has turned into soup." Oh, agreed! Especially in the winter. Mmm...

              IMO, there are two ways to go about bean soup:

              1. Plain ham and beans. This means you take soaked beans (navy, pinto, or white beans, or split peas -- whatever is cheapest/blows your hair back), put them in a great big pot with water and a ham bone, and some pepper and maybe a bay leaf and let them just barely simmer all day long. It's thick and unctuous and simple. Best with corn bread. Growing up we always splashed a little vinegar into our bowls of beans, and that's still how I like 'em.

              2. Actual bean soup. This means you cook onion, garlic, and carrot in oil, add tomatoes and water or stock, bay leaf, fresh thyme and/or rosemary, the ham bone, and a bean MIX. This is best with homemade whole wheat bread (or Irish brown bread) to soak up all the liquid, because it's much more "soupy."

              My dad was known to take the bone from a Christmas ham and use his hacksaw to cut it in half so we could get two meals out of it. He wasn't cheap, he was "frugal." ;)

              1. re: LauraGrace

                LOL...I have had to use a hacksaw on occasion to cut down a bone that was too big to fit in my crock pot!

            2. It's always the beginnings of Red Beans and Rice at Uncle Bob's house....

              1. i would save it and use it in a pot of black eyed peas for new years! or there's always jook/congee.

                1. After the soup, it goes to the neighborhood dog for further recylcing.

                  1. I used to always make Senate bean soup, until I found this recipe for Ham and Potato soup on Allrecipes:

                    http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Deliciou...

                    I boil the ham bone, rind and chewy bits in water for hours, picking off the good ham before the taste boils out of it, and cooking the rest till all the goodness is in the stock.
                    Skim off the fat, and use this instead of the water and bouillon.
                    It's rich and comforting and delicious. I always serve it with shredded cheddar and a plop of sour cream.