There are far simpler ways to deal with leftover Christmas ham. Cut it into thin slices and slap between slices of bread. Add to pasta or rice. Sprinkle on salad… But there’s nothing more satisfying than ham steak cooked in butter and honey.
But, first, let’s make it clear. This is not a cooking technique one would use to serve dry-cured hams like the Italian prosciutto, and Spanish jamon serrano and jamon iberico. Those hams aren’t meant to be cooked. You shave them thinly and eat raw. Cook it and you’ll just ruin the flavor and texture.
When cooking ham steak, we use cooked ham. You can cut thick slices from a whole leg, a loaf that came out of can or from a slab of home-cured pork. What you see here came from a two-kilogram slab of pork that was wet-cured here at home. I made it pretty much the same way I brine corned beef — for ten days in the refrigerator.
Butter? Oh, yes. To moisten the meat and give it more flavor. Melt butter in a frying pan, lay down your thick slice of ham and leave for the underside to brown a little. Flip to do the same with the other side.
Then, pour in honey. Not only does honey balance the saltiness of ham, it also caramelizes and forms a light crust on the meat. Just let the ham braise in the butter-honey combo until the mixture starts to thicken, flip the ham over and braise some more until the braising liquid sticks to the surface of the meat.
How should the ham steak be served? Enjoy it with bread, rice or mashed potatoes. If you’re having it for brunch, you may even want to top it with a fried egg.
Leftover Christmas ham steak
- 1 thick slice fully cooked ham an inch thick is ideal
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ¼ cup honey
- bread to serve
- fried egg to serve (optional)
- Melt one tablespoon butter in a pan.
- Lay the ham in the hot butter and cook for a minute until the underside the lightly browned.
- Drop in the remaining butter, flip the ham over and brown the opposite side.
- Pour in the honey directly over them.
- Allow the honey and butter to blend and cook the ham until the liquid starts to thicken.
- Turn the ham over a few times during the last minute of cooking until the butter and honey has turned to a sticky glaze.