Leftover Ham? Make Meatballs.

Gentle readers, has anyone ever, and I do mean ever, finished a ham in a typical family meal setting? The local purveyors seem to supersize even the most petite orders. This past Easter, another ham, another ham bone (score), piles upon piles of stuff that only the Practical Cook will eat on a sandwich. It is time for some leftover subterfuge.

Since a defrosting fail kept me from making meatballs last week, I needed to use the finally defrosted ground beef up on Sunday night. Ground beef, meet leftover ham, you’ll be getting acquainted in a 375 degree oven.

Meatballs in the Oven

Meatballs in the Oven

Leftover Ham Meatballs or Meatball Surprise!

Since leftover ham meatballs is neither sexy nor very catchy, I recommend the fallback for nameless food here in the Practical Cook test kitchen, add Surprise! to the end of it and make everyone guess what’s in it. This recipe is a variation on the Cheap.Fast.Good! batch meatball recipe, which is my go-to. (Just buy this cookbook, seriously, it will make your cooking life easier.) Once you’ve made these, you’ll never buy frozen again.

Toasted Bread Crumbs

Toasted Bread Crumbs

2 pounds ground beef
1/2 to 1 cup minced ham (made from leftover ham tossed in the food processor or chopped fine)
1 cup toasted bread crumbs (store-bought or in this case, homemade from that pita I keep using in everything)
1/3 cup milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 to 4 Tablespoons  sweet onion, finely minced
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a broiler pan with oil.

Meatball Ingredients to Be Mixed

Meatball Ingredients to Be Mixed

2. Combine ingredients with a spoon or your hands. This is not a neat recipe, I would advise just going with your hands.

3. Using a large spoon or a cookie dough scoop, portion out golf-ball-sized scoops, rolling each gently to form a ball. Should make around 48 of them. Place them on the prepared broiler pan as you go.

4. Bake the meatballs for 32 to 35 minutes, or until done through. (Use a meat thermometer to check if you’re not sure.)

5. Serve warm on a toothpick or cool and store in the freezer until you need them.

Welcome to Meatball Mountain

Welcome to Meatball Mountain

More recipe ideas will be coming for how to use these. For now, I’ve just managed to eat them off of the pan. I have issues with some meatballs for the unpleasant texture or bland taste. These meatballs are not guilty, they are amazing.  I foresee using them in a strogonoff or spaghetti-and fashion in the near future.

Next, spring is in the air, and potatoes are in the ground. One Ingredient, Three Ways: Potato Edition.

How do you use up leftovers? Share your secrets in a comment, with a carrier pigeon, or via email:practical cook at gmail dot com

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Filed under Recipes

2 responses to “Leftover Ham? Make Meatballs.

  1. I bet you could do this with pork, too, couldn’t you? I had some lovely leftover pork that I let wallow in the fridge too long. Next time: Meatballs!

    • The Practical Cook

      Absolutely, and great suggestion! If it will fit in the food processor, it can become a meatball. I can see pork meatballs with a pineappley sauce over rice or sliced up on a pizza with apples!

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