Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Basic Sunday Ham Recipe

Our Sunday ham has been a tradition since we were first married. Dan's family always had Sunday ham as well. The Sunday ham has taken on different forms. For the first few years of marriage, we ate those prepackaged ham steaks, that were between $3 and $4 per pound, as that is how his parents served Sunday ham.

I then found ham butts for around $0.99 per pound from a local grocery store. They had a massive bone and were covered in skin. I had to cut it up raw into one pound increments, freeze them, and cook them in the crock pot each Sunday. Cutting it up was a real task.

Finally, I have moved to pork shoulders and call it Sunday ham. Pork shoulders have no skin and fit in the crock pot. At $1.12 per pound from Walmart, they are less work than the ham butts, but about the same cost as there is no skin and a smaller bone. It comes to about $1.40 for a meal's portion.
Depending on how big of a shoulder you can find, you have to manipulate the bone in the crock pot. I never get the biggest shoulder for this very reason.

On the Sunday that I cook the shoulder, I shove about a pound of chopped potatoes and a pound of chopped carrots down around the sides of the pork. If there's room, I like to put a halved onion in there too. All that cooks on low all day.

Ham, Potato and Carrot - $2.65
ham- $1.40
potato - $0.40
carrot- $0.70
onion- $0.15

The vegetables and some ham make that night's meal. I divide the rest of the ham into 14 ounce chunks and freeze them for future meals. For those other Sunday ham meals, I whip up some mashed potatoes and steam broccoli.

Ham, Potato, and Broccoli -$2.30
ham- $1.40
potato- $0.40
broccoli- $0.50


slk2042 said...

What seasonings do you like to add to your pork?

Lori said...

When you say pork shoulder, do you mean smoked? I am guessing you must since you're calling it ham, and unsmoked would have a completely different flavor.
Just a suggestion, but some finely cut (or blended) ham trimmings added to your sausage recipe would give it a more smokey, sausagey flavor.

Jenny said...

How do you a full meal's worth of broccoli for $0.50? Is it frozen or fresh? Even on sale I generally pay about $2-$3 for a large bunch of broccoli (and my kids won't eat the frozen stuff, but they'll eat fresh broccoli lightly steamed in mass quantities.)

Treva said...

My DD *loves* pork in every form it comes in. I will buy a ham steak when they hit rock bottom prices, but any form of pork is fine with her -- chops, bacon, shoulder. In fact, one of her favorite meals is ham, mashed potatoes and broccoli. Her other favorite is pork schnitzel with green beans and spaetzle. My favorite is a Smithfield Ham from VA, but then I grew up only 30 minutes from Smithfield and those famous VA hams!

I just picked up 2 more pork loin roasts. They went all the way down to $1.37/lb. I bought 2 at around 4lbs each and then found a pad of tear off coupons for $1 off any fresh pork product, so my 8lbs of pork was $8.75. I slice it myself and repackage with 3 to a bag for pork loin chops -- 4 meals from 1 roast usually. Sometimes I just cut the roast in half and freeze the halves; this way I'm only cooking up 2lbs of meat at a time, but it's still a roast and we still get 2 good meals out of it.

Kimber said...

Your meal sounds great, yummy! I love Sunday ham. We don't do it as often as we should. I have never tried to put it in the slow cooker. I cook with the slow cooker all the time in the summer when it is to hot to use the stove and on busy days that I know I will not have time later to cook a good meal for my family. I throw everything in & 8 hours later I have a healthy meal for my family!!!! Man, I love that thing!

Unknown said...

Sometimes, I throw in some cabbage for a different taste. The bone can be cooked with some dry beans for the next day. Good home cooked meal.

Lyndsae said...

Mmmm....I'm a vegetarian, but that sounds really good. I LOVE cooking things in the crockpot all day, because it makes the whole house smell good.

Clisby said...

Don't throw away the bone! You can cook dried beans in the crockpot with chopped onion, the hambone, and whatever spices you like. Barely cover with water or leftover stock and cook on low all night. (Soak the beans for a few hours first). This is one of my family's favorites.

Jenny said...

How do you make mashed potatoes? Do you add butter, milk, and so forth or are they just plain potatoes with nothing added other than maybe some cooking juices from the pork?

stephanie said...

Can't your butcher (or the supermarket butcher) cut it up for you? Ours does, in as many pieces as you want... They have a huge power saw to do so, so it's not a big deal for them, even if the meat is frozen.

Emily said...

Lori, it's not smoked, and it does have a completely different flavor, but we still call it ham for the sake of tradition.

Jenny, I get 2 lbs of frozen broccoli cuts for $1 at the Dollar Tree. They don't always have it, though.

Jenny, on ham night I usually add at least butter, maybe milk, and sometimes some spices to potatoes. Ham juice isn't as good for mashing as chicken juice, and since I'm reheating cooked ham, there isn't much juice coming out.

Stephanie, Walmart has no butchers, but I'll ask next time I'm at the local supermarket where I used to get my ham.

Clisby said...

I hadn't thought of this until Stephanie posted, but sometimes you can get good deals by having the store butchers cut up larger pieces of meat. For example, if you find a chuck roast at a really good price, you can make pot roast, or you can have the store grind it up into hamburger. I'm not nearly as frugal as you are, but I occasionally find chuck roasts, eye of round roasts, or sirloin tip roasts that, per pound, are WAY cheaper than the packaged ground beef. I have the store grind it up, and that's my hamburger!

Unknown said...

Take the bone, put it in water, add some split peas, carrots, celery and potatos. Cook it all day and you've got a nice thick pea soup.

I go to the Honey Baked Ham store around the holidays and buy their bones, put them in the freezer and have them handy for pea soup all winter long.

Jessica said...


I wanted to add to what other posters said about using the bone with beans. That is one of my favorite crockpot meals.

Soak your beans overnight and cook them. I use great northern beans. Then let them simmer in the crockpot with your bone. Make some cornbread (use sour cream in place of the milk - yum). Then put a piece of cornbread in the bowl, dump some beans over the top and then drizzle maple syrup over all of it. It's soooooooo good.

Pam said...

I recently discovered the pork butt! I bought one on sale for about $.79/lb, stuffed it into the crock pot with a half an onion and some barbeque sauce. After cooking it all day, I pulled the bone out and shredded the meat with two forks. Voila...pulled pork barbeque (a southern favorite, for all you Yankees...I was born and raised in MA, and never heard of barbeque [the noun] until I came south)! Serve on a bun with slaw, add some sides. We got MANY meals (6 or 7) out of it that way.

For those who asked, I didn't know what a pork butt or picnic roast was either until recently. It looks just like a ham, bone and everything, except it is not smoked. You will not have the salty, smokey flavor you do in a ham.

If you have an actual smoked ham (say at Christmas or Easter), definitely save the bone to cook with beans. There is a lot of meat that will come off the bones that you didn't think you could get, not to mention the flavor it will give your beans.

Amber said...

That's how I cook my pork shoulders, too. However, there's no way that I could stretch a that ham that you showed to as many meals as you do. I take it seconds are not allowed? That's only like 3.5 oz of ham per person.

Anonymous said...

Amber, her kids are very unlikely to eat 3.5 oz of ham. A serving of meat for a toddler is more like an oz.
And the suggested serving size of most meats is around 3-4 oz, so having that much for an adult should be enough. The only time I have seconds of a meat course is when I'm pregnant and have huge cravings for red meat!

Emily said...

Yeah, there's enough meat for all of us to have what we want and DH to have seconds. I'm not sure how many ounces we all get, but we're all satisfied at the end of the meal.

The Jerseymooners said...

Thanks for the recipe. I just got a crock pot and used it for the first time this saturday. Can you put all the ingredients in there without any liquid? I'm still new at this.

I made pot roast, which was 1 small pot roast, 3 cut up small potatoes, 4 cut up carrots, 2 cut up celery ribs, one can of cream of mushroom soup and one packet of onion soup mix, plus about 3/4 cup of water. I cooked this on high for 6 hours.

crabcakes said...

Emily, your last few commenters here leads me to ask you if you could think of a post centered on overeating. A responder of another post of yours said something about groceries not being much budget to cut and I disagree. I'm about 30 lbs overweight since my last baby and I KNOW we both overeat (not the kids). I think we could probably save so much on our grocery budget if we simply stopped eating more than we should. Especially eating something like meat or cheeses.

Do you have any thoughts on this? On paying attention to eating what you NEED instead of eating until stuffed. I'd love to pick your brain on your thoughts on overeating and the typical American portion size and how it impacts the budget.

Unknown said...

Hi, Emily! Good meal. Aldi's has the spiral sliced hams now for $1.49 a pound & they taste like the ones from Honey Baked Hams. I usually don't buy the picnics or the ones you said cause usually15-20% of the weight is water or solution.So if you add in the price you pay for the ham shoulder or picnics water solution weight , it will be around $1.34 per pound. Do you have an Aldi's there?

Emily said...

crabcakes, I've been working on a post about that just this week. Having a baby, I have some baby weight to lose, too. Basically, I eat a lot of protein during the day, which keeps me full longer so I eat much less overall. I'll probably publish the post next week.

Lisa, we have no Aldi's but I've heard great things about them.

Anonymous said...

To Amber: a proper serving of meat is 4 ounces...which is approximately the size of a deck of cards. From what I've read, Emily offers up quite a bit of meat in other meals and throughout the day, so each person getting just below one serving wouldn't be a problem. I think that's better than the 1/2 pound burgers and what not that most Americans tend to be eating. Many Americans have portion dyslexia, and actually eat waaay more meat then what is needed.

In our household, I normally DO limit meat. I make one serving for each person for dinner. (If we have company, I always make sure they have plenty, I like to be a good hostess and I realize not everyone has the same habits as our family.) It was a joint decision between my husband and I. We care for my nephew and neice, and we learned quickly that what they thought was a serving was actually about three servings, and they were gaining a lot of weight. For example...when I made sausage links...they could eat about 8 or so of them, or they would eat six large chicken strips, or two good size cheeseburgers. So, we limit meat, but put no limit on sides..fruits and vegetables. It's worked well so far! I wouldn't suggest every family doing that, but I think it's help put things into perspective for them, and we explained it all to them beforehand.

America is extremely obese country, and in general, we think we need a lot more than what our bodies really want. Thanks to "super size" meals and buffets.

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