Paula always makes sure she cooks up a little extra ham every Christmas so she has plenty for some of her favorite leftover recipes. These are her top five, but don’t forget, you can also add a cup or two of roughly chopped ham to your favorite vegetable casseroles, soups, or mac and cheese to take them from ordinary to extraordinary! The possibilities are endless. What is your favorite dish to make with leftover ham?
And because there are too many tasty recipes for that holiday ham, consider this next recipe an added bonus if you feel like trying something that’s a bit more challenging!
Mama’s Ham Dumplings
The bone from a whole ham or 3 pounds ham hock or knuckle
3 quarts cold water
1 large white onion, peeled and halved
1 large carrot, peeled and cut in large chunks
6 whole peppercorns, plus whole black pepper in a mill
1 recipe Raised Dumplings (recipe follows)
1 cup leftover boiled (or raw) country ham cut into julienne
¼ cup chopped parsley plus 2 tablespoons for garnish, optional
1. Put the bones into a large stockpot, and pour the cold water over them. Turn on the heat as low as you can get it, and bring the water slowly to the boiling point, carefully skimming off the film as it pops to the surface. It will take about 45 minutes.
2. Add the onion, carrot, and peppercorns. Simmer slowly for at least 1 hour—2 is better. Strain (discarding the solids), return the broth to the pot, bring it back to a boil, and reduce it to 1½ quarts (about half).
3. Make the dumplings according to the recipe. Drop them a few at a time into the simmering broth, and let them simmer for 5 minutes. Add a dusting of freshly milled pepper, stir in the ham and parsley (if using—my grandmother didn’t), and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes more. Ladle onto a serving platter or individual soup plates, garnish with more parsley, and serve at once.
10 ounces (about 2 cups) unbleached, all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons lard, shortening, or unsalted butter
1 cup whole milk buttermilk or plain, all-natural whole milk yogurt thinned to buttermilk consistency with water or milk
1. Sift or whisk together the flour, soda, baking powder, and salt into a mixing bowl. Cut in the lard with a pastry blender until it resembles coarse corn meal.
2. Make a well in the center and pour in the buttermilk or yogurt. Using a wooden spoon and as few strokes as possible, quickly stir the ingredients together.
3. To shape flat dumplings (sometimes called “slipperies”) like my grandmother’s, turn the dough onto a lightly floured, smooth work surface. Flour your hands, and gently push it away from you to flatten. Fold it in half, gently press flat with the heel of your hand, and give it a quarter turn. Repeat this until just smooth—about 12 to 15 folds. Dust the work surface and the dough with more flour, and roll it out to a thickness of 1/8-inch. Quickly cut into 1-inch strips, and then cut them into 2-inch lengths. Cook immediately.