|Old School Deviled Ham Salad, made with ground ham, sweet pickles, pimentos and mayonnaise. My version adds in celery and onion, and a little horseradish, spicy mustard, hot sauce and Cajun seasoning with the mayonnaise.|
Deviled Ham SaladBack in the day, this deviled ham salad was made using an old fashioned countertop grinder - the cast iron kind, that clamped onto the edge of the kitchen counter or a table. Usually a slice or two of bread would be run through first, just to sort of clean it of any dried, leftover residue, since they were next to impossible to clean well. Everything else was added to the grinder in order, and then the salad mixed together with a homemade mayonnaise.
The old school ham salad was a even more simplified than this version here - made from ground ham, (and very often, from less expensive ground baloney instead), sweet pickles, sometimes pimento peppers, and mayonnaise, or for some folks, a salad dressing like Miracle Whip. Just remember if you are already using a sweet ham, like a honey baked ham, you'll want to take care with a sweet dressing on top of sweet pickles. Of course, while sweet pickles are most traditional for deviled ham, I won't tell a soul if you choose dill over sweet, if that is your preference. I like to add in celery and onion and spice up my mayo just a tad with some spicy mustard, hot sauce, Cajun seasoning and a little horseradish to give it a little punch.
By the way, deviled when used in recipes such as this, and deviled eggs for instance, means nothing closely related to a pitchfork toting, evil red devil who makes you do things that your mama taught you better. It simply refers to the seasonings used in certain dishes - in a nutshell, it translates as something that is highly seasoned, and this, would be that.
Let's make some deviled ham salad - here's how.
Use a grinder or a food processor to mince up a couple of nice, thick slices of ham. You'll want about a half pound, or what will amount to about two and a half cups of ground ham. If you're using the traditional, whole gherkins, grind those too. Transfer to a storage bowl because once this is all mixed up, you'll want to refrigerate it for a few hours or overnight to let the flavor meld.
I substituted a well-drained, homemade sweet pickle relish that I made this past summer. Add the pimentos. I'm using a small jar of already chopped pimentos, but if you're using whole pimentos, add those in with the ham and pickles when you grind them.
Grind the onion and celery, or mince and add in.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise with all of the remaining ingredients until well blended. Pour the mayonnaise over the ham mixture and mix well. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed.
Refrigerate for several hours until needed so that the flavors can meld all together; overnight is even better.
Spread on crust-less white bread, cut into triangles, for small finger sandwiches and serve with pickled okra and kettle chips, or scoop onto a plate as pictured here, alongside celery and carrot sticks, and serve with a few kosher dill pickle spears or okra and your favorite crackers.
Recipe: Deviled Ham Salad©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Inactive time: 1 hour | Yield: About 4 to 6 servings
- 2-1/2 cups of smoked or boiled ham, ground (about 2 large thick slices or 1/2 pound)
- 4 sweet gherkin pickles
- 1/4 cup of minced onion
- 1/8 cup of minced celery
- 1 (3 ounce) jar of chopped pimentos, drained
- 1/4 cup of real mayonnaise, more or less
- 2 teaspoons of horseradish
- 2 teaspoons of spicy mustard
- 1 tablespoon of fresh, chopped parsley
- Dash of hot sauce
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning, or to taste, optional
Use a grinder or pulse ham in a food processor until minced; add to a lidded storage bowl. Grind or mince the pickles and add to the ham. Add onion, celery and pimentos and mix together. In a separate bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise with all of the remaining ingredients, until well blended. Pour over the ham mixture; mix well, taste and adjust seasonings. Refrigerate for several hours until needed; overnight is even better. Spread on crust-less white bread for finger sandwiches and serve with a side of pickled okra and crispy kettle chips, or scoop onto a plate alongside celery and carrot sticks, and serve with pickle spears and crackers.
Cook's Notes: For a basic ham salad, use only the ham, pickles, pimentos and mayonnaise. For bologna salad, substitute ground bologna. You may also use sweet pickle cubes or relish, but drain well before adding to the ham. Use additional mayonnaise as needed for desired consistency.
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©Deep South Dish
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