Spiced Ham (Spam)




Sandwich spread, spiced ham, ham loaf, Spam.  It has many names.  I’m sure as soon as you read “spam” you either thought “Yes!” or you may have thrown up a little.  I will tell you that homemade “spam” is nothing like today’s cheap meat in a can Spam.   Depending on the spices you use in making it, it can be different every time you make it as well.

You can also “can” this wonderful concoction and make it into a sandwich “spread”, but it will cook in the jar, as does any meat.

So, here we go:

Ingredients:
1½ pounds fatty pork shoulder, cubed ¼ pound skinless pork belly, cubed ¼ pound ham, cubed 1½ teaspoons pickling salt 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes 1/8 teaspoon dried jalapeno powder (we like spice) 1½ teaspoons sugar ½ teaspoon  garlic diced ½ teaspoon dehydrated onion flake (or dehydrated ramp flakes) ½ cup ice water
Directions:
To make the grinding easier, place the pork, spread out in the freezer on a tray until well chilled.  Not frozen, just well chilled.  You are working with RAW PORK, PLEASE USE PROPER FOOD PRECAUTIONS, KEEP YOUR MEAT SEPARATED AND AWAY FROM OTHER FOOD. Once everything is chilled, process the pork in sections in a food processor, once  each one achieves the texture you desire add to a large bowl. I like my ham a little bigger pieces then the pork and pork belly. Now add all your meat together and mix with a mixer with the spices. Slowly add in the ice water to the meat and spices.  You want to mix this until it is emulsified well.  Meat paste.  (I do realize that sounds gross….)
NON CANNING METHOD:
Transfer into a greased small loaf pans; smooth top with a greased rubber spatula. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and place in a larger pan with 2-inch tall sides. Fill the larger pan with hot water halfway up the sides of the loaf pan. Bake in a preheated 300°F oven for 1½ hours. Let cool completely before removing from pan. Cut into thick slices and serve cold or shallow fried until crusty.
CANNING METHOD:
Requires a pressure caner.  Make sure you understand completely how to pressure can meat before doing this method! Prepare your WIDE MOUTH Pint Jars as you would for normal meat preserving. Make sure your meat mixture has NOTHING FROZEN LEFT IN IT!!!! NEVER can anything that is frozen or overly cold! Pack your meat mixture into your jars leaving 1 1/2 inch head space. Do not add any additional moisture. Clean the edges of your jars, place your lids and rings (tightly but not like Samson tightly) Place in your pressure caner and FOLLOW YOUR CANER’S DIRECTIONS! Meat MUST pressure can for 75 minutes for pints once it reaches the canning stage. Let your caner de-pressurize, and once you remove your jars, you will need to leave sitting for at least 24 hours.  Make sure they seal. Place on your pantry shelf and you have processed spam as a quick grab.
NOTE:  The canning method COOKS the meat in the jar, so it is the shape of the jar.  Using the Wide Mouth jars allows you to “slide” it out of the jar and slice the spam and then fry or use as a spread, its already cooked!

It may seem like a lot of work, but the flavor is so much better than anything that is mass produced!  You will never eat store bought again!

Until Next Time,

Mrs. Kay Lynn Rice