St. Mary's County Thanksgiving Stuffed Ham

St. Mary's County Thanksgiving Stuffed Ham

Here in St. Mary's County [Maryland], we do a stuffed ham. They vary if you live "up county" or "down county."

Use a corned ham. We use a butt half with the bone in about 12 lbs. Some do a whole ham, about 24 lbs. Some have the bone removed. It takes a lot of greens run through a food processor. We use kale, cabbage(s), 4 large onions. A large canning pot about 2/3 to 3/4 quarter full of chopped greens is about right. Blanch the greens with a couple gallons of boiling water. Drain off the water and add the spices stirring well into the greens.

The recipes vary on the spices, basically salt, pepper, red or hot pepper, lots of mustard seed and whole celery seed, for visual interest as well as taste, and dry mustard powder. You cut many slits down into the ham; some do a curved slits or crosses. Pack the slits as full of the greens as you can. Easier to do this in the sink, ham in a shallow pan and the greens in the other side. This takes about a half an hour just to stuff the ham. Any remaining greens can be packed on top of the ham.

Wrap the ham in cheese cloth or cotton material and wrap and tie it snug with some heavy thread or cord. The ham is then placed in a canning pot with the rack in the bottom to keep it off the bottom. Cover the ham or almost cover it with water and take to boiling and then cook for 20 minutes per pound or about four to five hours. This is a labor intensive process, kind of a family thing. The ham should cool for at least a day in the refrigerator and it is served cold, not re-heated. Serving the ham with dinner rolls large enough to make a sandwich is also part of the culture.

Great with a beer for lunch in the following days.

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