For as long as I can remember, I loved Deviled Ham. It was my Dad who introduced us to those little cans of Underwood Deviled Ham when we were kids. They were so fascinating, all wrapped in paper and he’d spread it on saltines for us while we waited in turn for ours, lined up like little birds. Probably with our mouths open! I can’t remember anything tasting so good. But you know what’s even better? My more grown-up version of Classic Deviled Ham.
Can you imagine not having to buy Deviled Ham in an expensive tiny little can? And not having to bear the looks of some who just don’t “get” it when that can is popped open? Admittedly, it does look kind of questionable. Imagine being able to actually have enough Deviled Ham to indulge in a nice thick spread on a cracker or a deviled ham sandwich? If you love the Classic Deviled Ham as much as I do, you’ve gotta make this one.
About Classic Deviled Ham:
This recipe is a classic that mimics that taste of that Underwood Deviled Ham, but it’s not a copycat version. For one, we know just what’s in my Classic Deviled Ham, lol! I think you’re going to love everything about my Classic Deviled Ham. The flavors are the classic ones of mustard (two kinds) and clove and it’s tempered with just a touch of honey. It’s rich and indulgent, but oh, so good. Oh, and bonus? It’s not as salty as the stuff in the can.
There’s no Mayo, here, in Classic Deviled Ham. Adding mayo would strictly put it into the category of a Ham Salad, another animal, altogether. That’s delish, too. Mayonnaise would get in the way of the delicate balance of flavors in the Classic Deviled Ham.
My favorite way to eat Classic Deviled Ham? It’s not as frugal as on spreading onto crackers, but I love it thickly spread on a good quality soft, white sandwich bread with a little crispy lettuce and/or a few pickles. It’s heaven! I’ve seen, but not tried, recipes for a more upscale Deviled Ham Grilled Cheese Sandwiches on Artisan Bread, which sounds great, but sometimes, I think old-fashioned is best. What do you think?
Making Classic Deviled Ham:
Making your own Deviled Ham just couldn’t be faster or easier. Chunk up the ham and onion and pulverize to bits in your food processor. Then add the rest of the ingredients and whir, stopping to scrape down, until it smooths out. Ham can have different levels of moisture, so it’s going to be a judgment call as to whether or not you need to add a little ham broth (if you have it) or maybe just a bit of water. The Classic Deviled Ham firms up with refrigeration, so you might want to think about when it’s being served and judge the thickness by that.
Depending on when I’m making my Classic Deviled Ham, I might have some of the fat that’s rendered off my Ham and the rich, jelly-like drippings. I’ll use the fat or a combo of fat and butter and then thin the Deviled Ham, if it needs thinning, with the nicely gelled broth. The flavor is insane! If you don’t have those drippings, use butter & thin with plain old water.
Now, true Underwood Deviled Ham has Ham, Mustard Flour & Turmeric. I’ve taken just a few liberties, but you can make any additions or substitutions that fit your palate…all kinds of things can go in your Deviled Ham. I’ve seen maple syrup instead of honey, gherkins, cornichons or capers, additions of cayenne, hot sauce, Tabasco, Sriracha and even hot pepper juice. Worcestershire or Paprika can be added. One of my fave additions is horseradish. Use your imagination and your taste buds!
Unlike the canned stuff, your Deviled Ham probably won’t be a bright pink. The colors might vary a bit depending on what ham you use to make it and if that ham has a glaze or not. In this particular batch, I used ham from my Honey Mustard Glazed Ham, so the deviled ham picked up some of the color (and just a hint of the flavor) of that gorgeous amber glaze on the rind. Personally, I like the little bit of variation that comes from using rind part in my deviled ham. If you’d like a pinker color and/or a truer flavor just use the portions of the ham that don’t have any rind or glaze.
Saving Money on Classic Deviled Ham:
I’m going to adopt a Devil may care attitude in this recipe for UsingLeftover Ham: See, Classic Deviled Ham takes a full 3/4 pound of my leftover ham, at that’s is usually a good part of my leftover Holiday Ham stash! And while there are ways to stretch leftover ham even further, I love this Classic Deviled Ham. Last time I priced the Deviled Ham out, 2016, it ran about $1.20 for the 2 1/2 cups. I usually pick up several Hams during the holidays when they are dirt cheap, & chuck in my freezer to bring out throughout the year. There are times I’ve looked at a ham steak in the store & that one little 1/2″ thick cut of meat has cost around the same as a half ham during Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years or Easter seasons.
Honey is always expensive these days, especially with the depletion in the bee population. I check at the drug store when they have it on special with one of their store coupons. Aldi’s sometimes has decent prices, too. If your honey becomes crystallized, put in a pot of water on the stove top and gently heat, or put in a container of water and heat (lid off) on low in the microwave. Watch that the container doesn’t melt! Brown sugar is a great substitution.
Sweet Pickle Relish and other condiments like the Mustard in this recipe are highly seasonal. Buy them in the summer or if you miss those sales, you might have another opportunity to pick them up at a low around the Superbowl. You may find various mustards at a low in the fall, too, around Octoberfest.
Classic Deviled Ham
- 3/4 pound ham, cut in chunks
- 1/4 of a medium-sized onion, in chunks
- 1/4 cup Dijon-style mustard
- 4 tablespoons ham drippings or softened butter
- 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
- 2 teaspoons dry mustard powder
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves (go by taste here – cloves are powerful)
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
- about a 1/4 cup of ham broth or water to thin to desired consistency
Using a food processor (or a grinder if you have one) run ham and onion through the grating blade. Remove and place in the food processor with the steel cutting blade. Process until nearly pulverized.
Add mustard, drippings or butter, honey, mustard powder, cloves, turmeric, and the two peppers. Blend until smooth. If the mixture seems dry, add broth or water, tablespoon by tablespoon until desired consistency is reached, stopping to scrape down from time to time.
Flavor is best after this has sat for a while. It will be firmer after refrigeration.
a serving is about 2 tablespoons. Cal 101, Cal fr fat 57, 58%; tot fat 6.54 g, sat fat 3.45g; chol 37mg; sod 481 mg; tot carb 4.57g; prot 6.34g, sugar 3.65g
If you came to this recipe looking for a way to use ham, be sure to check out the link below for 12 Days of Ham. You might want to see the sister post for 12 Days of Turkey, too.