HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


leftover baked ham in beef chili?

  • 8

I have 2-3 pounds of leftover spiral ham that needs to be cooked (too late to freeze). I also just bought a 3# pack of fresh ground beef. I want to make a batch of beef chili and I'm going to add some of the ham, ground, to it, I just don't know how much. I'm hoping I can add all of it, then freeze in several batches. I regularly make two styles of beef chili: entree chili that is milder and more complex/savory that I add beans to and condiment chili for hot dogs & hamburgers that is simpler & very hot. I'm sure I can make condiment chili with a lot of ham but not so sure how the entree chili would taste. Anyone?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I don't know how that will work, so I can't advise directly. I can say that I use left-over ham to make black-bean chili and I love that combination.

    1. I'm not sure I would put the Ham and beef together. I would make a ham chili separate from the beef. I would mix ham with ground pork. And I have done sausage and chicken chilis before. But I'm not sure the ham and beef will blend.

      I might try a "white" or verde chili with the ham. Maybe add some pinapple for a Hawiian chili. Definitely add some beans.

      Ahd then make a beef chili.

      1. Actually I did make a batch using roughly
        1 part ground beef
        1.5 parts smoked ham
        .5 parts leftover slow cooker pulled pork

        I used a lot of chili powder, cumin, cayenne, paprika, oregano thyme, onion garlic & crushed tomatoes. Doesn't taste much different than all beef chili. The light color was a little off putting so I darkened it with caramel color.

        1. Every batch of chili that I brew is an experiment. The only thing that I would be concerned about using too much of the ham is the amount of salt in it. I would not add salt to the chili if you plan to use the ham unless you crave salt.

          By craving salt I mean using it before tasting a meal. I've seen people add salt to a plate of food before tasting it. They don't check to see if it meets with their salt needs.

          1 Reply
          1. re: ChiliDude

            You are right, I didn't add salt until the last hour of cooking after everything had rendered. I was surprised on how much salt it needed though.

          2. just a thought of other things you could do with the beef and ham: make meatloaf with ground beef, and add chopped ham to the mixture....
            Also, just for the ham- make Jambalaya with it .Cubed ham and chicken, sliced kielbasa, tomato base stew w/ veggies....

            1 Reply
            1. re: opinionatedchef

              Great ideas! I haven't made jambalaya for a long time.

            2. It's too late for this leftover ham, but for the future, one thing I frequently make with leftover ham is ham and cheddar pie. Throw the ham (minus excess fat and any rind) in your FP and grind it. You'll need about 4 cups, so this uses a lot of ham. Mix this in a bowl with one large cubed cooked potato, an egg, some Colman's mustard powder and some pepper. If mixture is too dry, add milk. Pack this into a single pie crust (unbaked) or just a greased casserole. Top with cheese sauce, made with sharp cheddar and cayenne pepper and bake until sauce is bubbly and starting to brown, and crust is done. This is delicious with beer on a cold night.