Sometimes when Marie is looking for new recipes to try at home it’s because she has found a really good deal on something and needs inspiration in order to find a use for it. In this particular case it was ham steaks.
There was a sale on, and I picked some up. Regular readers may know how hard it is for me to resist a good deal. And how cheap I am too – although I’m a full-throated advocate of really good quality stuff, I’m not in a position to spend hundreds of dollars on my weekly shopping trips. So, we make compromises. I’m willing to spend the extra money on free range eggs, for instance (preferably from someone local so I know they really actually saw grass and ate bugs). However, you’re not going to see a recipe on this blog that calls for caviar or foi gras (even the ethically grown stuff).
When I was single I would have probably made macaroni ham & cheese with this ham. It’s the perfect size for dicing up. I may still do that with the one I have left. However, the goal this time was to eat some ham, because of course after I saw that it was on sale I started really wanting that lovely cured meat. Better that, than to yearn for something that is always too expensive (e.g. imported Dutch cheese or really good quality truffles). Not that I don’t do that anyway!
Given Grant’s preference for mustard and my son’s disinclination for it, after stumbling on this neat recipe for a maple-mustard sauce I thought it might work to conceal the offending ingredient while still imparting its flavor. The sauce turned out to be a hit with the grownups, but it was merely tolerated by the 5-year-old. He really doesn’t like it when I make new things. Doomed to frustration, that boy.
Anyway, this is a really nice quick entree for hasty weeknight cooking. It has only four ingredients, and one of them is the ham. I adapted this from a recipe at Food.com.
1 1-lb ham steak
1/4 cup maple syrup (make sure it’s the real deal, not the brown corn syrup with maple flavoring)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (or any other good-quality mustard, although the really chunky kinds would probably not work as well in the skillet)
Mix the three condiments together until smooth.
Preheat a skillet on medium heat.
Coat one side of the ham and place it in the skilled, coated side down. Coat the top and pour the rest of the sauce over the meat. Brown lightly, flip, and brown the other side, maybe 5 minutes each; this is to taste. You do want it in there long enough for the sauce to thicken a bit.
Transfer to a plate and enjoy!
You’ll want something quick and easy for your sides, because the ham will need frequent flipping to make sure it heats evenly and doesn’t overcook. Since I’d be stuck at the stove anyway, and fried potatoes need only minimal attention, I precooked some potatoes the previous day and cut them up for quick transfer to a skillet (putting in a quick plug here for the Penzeys spice mixes again because they make everything easier – I just put on some Mural of Flavor and called it done) and opened some pickled beets as my veggie.
Grant and I were pleased, the boy not so much. My hope is that with repeated exposure he will become more adventurous, but we’ll just have to see. Until his tolerance is higher I will still make him a backup food item when I’m making something that is on his known hated list, particularly anything spicy, but ham and potatoes and beets are supposed to be nonthreatening. Ah well.
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