View Full Version : Stuffed Ham, and Related, Recipes

03-31-2007, 11:33
Here is a classic recipe for Lincolnshire Chine, taken from Jane Grigson's English Food (1974, Ebury Press).

The cut used is a cured chine which is a regional English term for a back of bacon, i.e., the loin of pork "bounded on one side by pork back fat, on the other by the backbone. Beteen them you see what looks like a solid piece of lean meat. In fact, through the centre, unseen, a wing of flat bones runs from the vertebrae to make an inner layer". Got it?

"Make slashes at regular intervals" in the lean meat and stuff with "chopped leeks or spring onions and a lettuce" [English lettuce is rather herb-like, Boston would not do], "parsley" and "a good handful of raspberry leaves (optional)".

The stuffed pork is boiled, just as a traditional American ham is boiled (by the cook) to cook it. The dish is cooled, sliced, the pink and green no doubt making a charming mosaic, and served cold.

Mrs. Grigson wrote that in Lincolnshire (on the west side of England) they serve the meat with a sprinking of vinegar but she thinks "a little vinaigrette" would be better. She further advises to serve (evidently for lunch) the meat with bread and butter and salad.

One can see that the dish could also be served hot, and another recipe from England makes that explicit. It is in a book from the great English food writer Elizabeth David.

In Mrs. David's version, parsley, mint, lemon thyme, chives, coriander, bread crumbs, and egg can be added to the basic herb mixture.

She advises that the mixture can be used to stuff not just cured meat but fresh pork, and also can be used to coat a small piece of baked ham in lieu of a glaze. You strip the ham after baking and layer the mixture on until "set" by further baking. Interesting idea, clearly if one does this, incorporating bread crumbs is necessary.

I would be interested to hear Kentucky or other U.S. recipes for baked stuffed ham and I am sure they are the equal of if not superior to the dish which I believe was the original. I can't find the literary reference I referred to earlier but will keep looking.


03-31-2007, 12:04
I have always lived in the deep South (Georgia and Alabama) and I don't recall having ever encountered stuffed ham.


03-31-2007, 22:49
I've heard of ham being put inside other things but never of putting anything inside ham.

Wacky Canadians!

04-01-2007, 05:47
I'd like to take the credit Chuck but it's the English. :)

Here is more on Lincolnshire chine from Elizabeth David:

"The proportion of fresh and dried herbs can be improved according to fancy and depending on which are most plentiful. The fresh parsley is important, the mint gives a peculiarly English flavour to the mixture [hint on possible origins of American usage of mint including of course for bourbon julep], the lemon peel and spicy coriander make up for such seventeenth-century flavourings as the violet and marigold leaves which in country districts were still used in the stuffing for boiled bacon chines until well in the nineteenth century.

This mixture is delicious also as a stuffing for fresh baked pork".

I suspect that regional or family versions of American stuffed ham may show an echo of some of these old English practices. The survival of the dish as such, with its core use of spring onions and parsley, seems to attest as much.


04-01-2007, 06:40
Here is an example of Elizabeth David when she really gets rolling, a propos the tomato and its derivatives. It is from her "Spices, Salts And Aromatics In The English Kitchen", a circa-1970 publication, still in print (or not long out of) and highly recommended:

"A world devoid of tomato soup, tomato sauce, tomato ketchup and tomato paste is hard to visualize. Could the tin and processed food industries have got where they have without the benefit of the tomato compounds which colour, flavour, thicken - and conceal so many deficiencies? How did the Italians eat spaghetti before the advent of the beloved golden apple of the South? Was there such a thing as a tomato-less Neapolitan pizza? What were English salads like before there were tomatoes to mix with the lettuce? Could Provencal cooking be separated from the 'pomme d'amour' which goes into so many of its famous dishes?

Incredible though it now seems, the tomato, brought by Spaniards from Peru to Spain at the close of the sixteenth century and shortly afterwards planted in France, Portugal, Italy and England, was well known to us as an ornamental plant for two hundred years before its culinary possibilities were perceived. The first English cookery-book recipes for tomatoes appear only at the beginning of the nineteenth century. They were for ketchup-type sauces."

David explains further that being of the "'solanacae' tribe", many thought that tomatoes were poisonous like some nightshades are so blending with vinegar and spices might have been seen as a way to neutralise the supposed toxins. Even when "tomato soup was well on its way to its current immortality", legends arose that the tomato caused serious illness (this is in the later 1800's). This and its high cost until after about 1900 induced suspicion and dislike amongst many of something now taken for granted. David continues:

"... the tomato has taken its revenge - and in no uncertain way - for three centuries of neglect and calumny. What we need now is the restraining hand implicit in the observation made in a French book of "Dissertations Gastronomique" (1928) by Ernest Verdier, owner of the Maison Doree, a restaurant celebrated in pre-1914 Paris. 'The tomato', says M. Verdier, 'imparts its delicious taste, at the same time acid and lightly sweet, to so many sauces and dishes that it can be fairly classed among the best of condiments. Happy are those who understand how to use it judiciously'. Canners, freeze-dryers, packagers and restaurant cooks please copy".


07-03-2007, 01:54
It`s a nice recipe Gary we always use prunes for stuffing ham overhere but i`m gonna try yours surely.Sprinkling the ham with maltvinegar gives a better taste than with a vinaigrette which makes it too sour-ish.Also try stuffed chickenfillets with apricots glazed in a gravy from butter and apricotbrandy,only use some pepper and salt,it`s a simple but nice dish with potatomash and French beans.Eric.

07-03-2007, 06:02
I'm sure I've seem stuffed ham or pork on menus before, and likely even ordered it as it sounds very familiar, but I have never made such a dish personally.

07-03-2007, 15:18
Stuffed Ham is a popular Sunday dinner dish served by many Churches and other organizations in St. Mary's County, Maryland. Thye bone is removed from the ham and the cavity is filled with kale or cabbage and many herbs. When cut, the slice of ham will have the stuffing in the center hole.

Just google "stuffed ham St. Mary's" .

07-03-2007, 15:30
Thanks, Dave, and what you describe is quite close to the English recipe I quoted. No surprise, since the majority of Marylanders (the original stock) were specifically English in origin, i.e., not Scots or Scots-Irish (as far as I know).