14 March 2009

Recipe: Ham Balls

This is a great recipe that I've been making for several years now. It was given to me by a family friend, and it's really one of those "no fail" kinds of dishes. (It has to be, if I'm involved!)

Okay, now I'm going to let you in on a little secret which is surely key to the success of this recipe. Whenever I make ham balls, I sing a little song. Have you heard the old spiritual "This Train is Bound for Glory, This Train"? Well, I sing "Ham balls are bound for glory, ham balls" every time I make this recipe. The ham balls are THAT good. They are surely bound for glory! If you make this recipe, you must sing the song. Otherwise, who knows WHAT might happen!

So....continuing on... :-)

Sometimes I make the ham balls a little smaller than those pictured here. I bake them as usual, then dump them in the crock pot to serve as appetizers. The longer they sit in the crock pot, the better they are. They're also really good after a day in the fridge, because the ham balls have longer to absorb the glaze.

The recipe calls for ham loaf, which is actually a mixture of ground ham, ground chuck, and ground pork. If you're from Iowa, you can buy this ready-made at the meat counter at Fareway stores. I'm sure other grocery stores have it, too.

Ham Balls
* 2 pounds ham loaf (or 1 pound ground ham, 1/2 pound ground chuck, 1/2 pound ground pork)
* 1 egg
* 1 C crushed graham crackers (I use the pre-crushed kind, found in the baking section, because I cut any and all corners in the kitchen!)
* 1/3 C milk

Combine and shape into balls -- about the size of ping-pong balls. (I use a mixer for this because it gets a little messy and hard to stir!) Bake at 350 degrees for one hour. The last 30 minutes, baste with the following glaze:

1/4 C vinegar
1/4 C water
1 C brown sugar
1 tsp dry mustard

Note: I usually buy only 1 pound of ham loaf, but I still make the full amount of glaze. You don't want to skimp on the glaze! That's what gives the ham balls a nice, sweet flavor.


Sabrina (Connie's friend) said...

As much as we love pork here in the south, I've never seen ground ham in the grocery store. I'll have to ask Connie about it.

toners said...

Wow! These look TASTY!

Jill/Twipply Skwood said...

My kids don't really eat ham, but I wonder if we could make them with ground turkey or soy or something, 'cause those look GOOD! And of course I do like that song...