Friday, April 4, 2008

Stuffed Ham, An Easter Treat

This entry should have been posted last week....

In Shomette's "Lost Towns of Tidewater Maryland" he describes daily life in 19th century Port Tobacco, identifying rolled French omelets and stuffed ham as local favorites. He quotes historian Ethel Roby Hayden regarding stuffed ham:

"Stuffed Ham," she noted, "an Easter treat, is ignored in Baltimore and nearly unknown further north, but for the Charles Countian it is a sorry Easter table where the red and green dish is not."

It just so happens that there is a recipe for stuffed ham on the internet that was penned by Mrs. Ed Edelen. The Edelen's are long time residents of Port Tobacco and friends of the Port Tobacco Archaeological Project. For all of us non-Charles Countians, take a look at this!

12 pounds Ham -- country cured
3 pounds Kale
3 pounds Watercress
2 pounds Cabbage -- green
1 bn Celery
1 Pepper -- hot red
6 tablespoons Salt
5 tablespoons Pepper -- black
2 tablespoons Pepper -- red
2 tablespoons Mustard seed
2 tablespoons Celery seed
2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce

Choose a plump, thick ham with a thin layer of fat. Parboil 20 minutes. Steam and remove all skin. Cut greens in small pieces (1" to 1 1/2"). Chop celery and pepper fine. Blanch greens, celery and pepper in boiling water until limp; drain well. Add seasonings and mix. Cool ham until you can handle it comfortably. Starting at the butt end of the ham, cut three lengthwise slits, 2" long, all the way through. Second row--two slits. Third row--three slits, so that one slit for stuffing does not split into another. The ham is now ready to be stuffed. With your fingers, push the seasoned greens into slits first from the top, then from underneath, until you can feel all the spaces have been filled. The remaining greens are banked over the top of the ham.

To keep the ham in shape, use a large square of clean cloth. Place ham, skin side up, on the cloth, fold the ends over tightly and pin. Return to ham boiler and simmer 15 minutes to the pound. Let cool for two hours in the pot liquor. Chill in refrigerator overnight, in its cloth.

Mrs. Edward J. Edelen Port Tobacco, MD The Hammond Harwood House Cookbook



Jim said...

So, is there a vegetarian substitute for this dish?

Scott said...


It is stuffed HAM! Twelve lbs of HAM! Then again, I guess you can stuff whatever you want.

April M. Beisaw said...

For Jim we can substitute a very large slab of pink tofu.