Ham Loaf for the Holidays

December 14th, 2014

Ham Loaf 2V

Nothing brings back memories of home more than this sticky glazed ham loaf.  My Mother made this for many special occasions.  Forget the prime rib roast or the whole filet of beef.  To my Mother, a celebration required ham loaf.  We are not sure when she latched onto this dish.  We just always knew that it would be served when she gathered the family together for a holiday.

I don’t make it often anymore.  But at least once a year I have to make it, if for no other reason than the smell of it cooking takes me back to her kitchen.  She basted it often with the glaze and, at the end, it caramelized into the sweet coating that was one of her favorite parts of the ham loaf.  She always made two loaves so that she was assured of at least one of the end pieces for herself.

Ham Loaf 1

Scoring the top of the ham loaf looks lovely and also holds the glaze better.  It makes a festive presentation and tastes wonderful.

The ham loaf is a mixture of ground round and ground ham.  There was a time when you could ask the butcher to grind a ham steak together with the ground round, but not anymore.  For some reason, most supermarkets will not do this.  I either grind my own ham in my Kitchen Aid with the meat grinder attachment or buy a tube of ground ham.  I just discovered this product.  You may find that small supermarkets will be more willing to grind a piece of ham.  However you arrive at the mixture, you will not be disappointed.

On anther note, one of the things I try to do during the holidays is to support local businesses.  The big box stores are not in danger of losing customers, but by supporting small businesses we can make a big difference.

Eldred Williams

We were very impressed with this young entrepreneur who showed up on our doorstep one evening.  Eldred Williams is 8 years old and with his brothers and father have started a soap company featuring soaps with all natural ingredients.  He was engaging and enthusiastic about his soaps.  The name of the company is Gone Natural; 4 kids and a Father.  Check out the link for more information.  I am very happy with the soap that I bought.  Hopefully, this young man has a bright future.  With his attitude, he is well on his way.

Ham Loaf 3

Here is the recipe for my Mother’s Ham Loaf.  She would have been proud to share it with all of you.  For me it represents family, fellowship and one of the things that is important about the holidays.

My Mother’s Ham Loaf

1 pound ham steak, ground
1 pound ground round or lean ground beef
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup whole milk
2 cups saltine crackers, crushed (about 1 sleeve)

2 teaspoons mustard
1/2 cup cider vinegar
2/3 cup brown sugar

Combine the first 5 ingredients in a large bowl.  I sometimes combine the ground meats before adding the rest.  Form into a loaf and place in a 9″x13″ baking dish.  Score the top diagonally in both directions with a knife (about 1/4-inch deep).  Mix together the mustard, vinegar and brown sugar in a small bowl.  Set aside.  Bake the ham loaf in a 325 degree oven for one hour.  Pour sauce over meat and bake an additional one hour, basting frequently, especially during the last 1/2 hour.  Place on platter, slice and serve.

Printable Recipe


25 responses to “Ham Loaf for the Holidays”

  1. Larry says:

    I’ve never had ham loaf, but it looks very good.

  2. Penny @ The Comforts of Home says:

    I have never had a ham loaf before! It sounds really good Penny.

    What an enterprising young man. I do like to support small businesses too.

    • Penny says:

      Hi Penny. I think you and K. would love this meatloaf. I know he is a fan of meatloaf, and if I recall meatloaf mixed with mac and cheese. LOL.

  3. Madonna says:

    Since starting my blog I have been become nostalgic for things I had forgotten, or thought I had forgotten. It is lovely to remember long ago recipes.

    Eldrige is adorable.


    • Penny says:

      Hi Madonna, I actually posted my Mom’s recipe 3 years ago, but sometimes it is good to reprise things we love. You are right, sometimes old recipes are the best.

  4. Monique says:

    Is he cute or what?

    I am so partial to kids.
    Did you notice your napkins match my plate and teacup?:)
    I bet we would love this.
    I love the cross hatching..and will try and read the book!:)
    So pretty your front porch.Going to see the link.

    • Penny says:

      Thanks Monique. My napkin does match yours! Creative minds. You will love the Louise Penny’s books. They take place in a small Canadian village called Three Pines (fictional) near the border with Vermont. Start with the first one, “Still Life”.

  5. Susan says:

    We are lucky enough to have a grocery store that still makes up ham loaf and we love it! The leftovers make the best-tasting sandwiches ~

  6. Susan says:

    I love recipes like this that bring back wonderful memories! I’ve never made nor tasted a ham loaf but would love to try it. The ham loaf sandwich with left-overs sounds great too.

    How wonderful that you support the local business and little entrepreneurs 🙂

  7. How nice to have recipes such as this that bring back great memories, especially during the holidays. Ham is always a favorite at our house. That young man’s smile would win me over right away.

  8. Penny says:

    He did win me over Sam. The first words out of his mouth were ” Boy it smells good in your house. It reminds me of . . . . .” He was kind of puzzled, but I guessed that, because I was making dinner, it smelled like home and he didn’t quite have the words for it. One great little guy. I wish him well.

  9. Jann Mumford says:

    I do not recall ever seeing a ham loaf as lovely as the one you just posted. I can only imagine the wonderful aroma throughout your kitchen as well as the delicious taste~

  10. cheri says:

    Hi Penny, never heard of a ham loaf before, but I love the idea of a family recipe, will have to make this for my family, thanks for sharing!

  11. We used to eat a lot of ham at home growing up but I’ve never had a ham loaf. It sounds great…especially with the glaze.

  12. Barb Bobik says:

    The ham loaf! As Christmas Eve is slowly approaching, this was the dish your mother always prepared for us. It was as expected as the man in the red suit on Christmas morning. It certainly brings back so many wonderful memories of spending Christmas Eve with my lovely in-law’s, Mike & Jerri Bobik. Side note: the reason that they won’t grind the ham steak is they have to wash the machine down – no co-mingling of beef & pork. It’s a shame. As for me this year, I’m pushing for a trip to China Garden Christmas Eve as I’m not as inspired as you or your mother. A Merry Christmas to my lovely sister-in-law, Penny & my sweet brother-in-law, David.

  13. Danielle says:

    Hi, is ham steak the ones that are 2 in a pkg. I’m from Quebec Canada, so maybe we don’t have that here. Thanks, Merry Xmas.

  14. […] celebration took place at our house last Sunday with friends Cauleen, Greg and the boys. I made Penny’s Mom’s Ham Loaf, (which was O-U-T-of-this-world delicious), easy and classic Better Homes and Gardens Scalloped […]

  15. Lee Mc says:

    Look very similar to my mom’f recipe that I had forgotten about! Now I’m going to have to scour my recipe collection for it!

  16. Lee McCue says:

    Look very similar to my mom’s recipe that I had forgotten about! Now I’m going to have to scour my recipe collection for it!

  17. […] of my favorites because it was what my Mother served to guests when she was entertaining.  It is a Ham Loaf with a thick sweet glaze that will have you licking your fingers.  It is simple but festive with […]

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