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Jan 9, 2014 09:56 AM

leftover baked ham in beef chili?

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?

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  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.