This ham loaf recipe is one of the best ways to use up leftover ham. Baste with a sweet pineapple glaze during baking for a delicious caramelized flavor. You may also love our easy ham recipe!
Ham Loaf Recipe
Thanks to the Ohio Pork Council for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions are my own.
Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to visit Premiere Solutions in Sabina, Ohio. This is a company whose motto is “helping farmers feed the world” and that is exactly they do! I met Rebecca Surber there and she was kind enough to take me out to one the Surber Family hog farms so I could experience first hand what raising pigs on a pig farm looks like.
If you’re anything like me, someone who was not raised around farming, I’m sure you may have a lot of questions about what it is like. Blogging has given me many opportunities, but getting to know local farmers and their families and experiencing what they do each and every day has been one of the most enjoyable things I’ve done. Let me tell you why.
- Farming families are passionate about what they do. This is the second time I’ve visited the Surber family and they are lovely. They are very knowledgeable about what they do and are more than happy to answer any questions to share their knowledge. Much of the Surber family, although now they are grown and married, still work for the family farm business which shows they love what they do.
- Farming families love their animals. Rebecca shared many stories with me of different pigs and their personalities, even giving some names. I saw first hand Rebecca pick up and love on one of the littlest pigs to give them extra attention. They really do care for their animals and want to see them healthy and happy.
- Farming families care about health. And that’s not just of the animals but also the importance of maintaining health standards to keep quality at its highest.
- Farming families in want to see farmers thrive in Ohio and do what they can to help and support them! I was so impressed with the history of Premiere Solutions. John Surber is an amazing businessman but isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty. He started in the feed business but about 20 years ago built his own hog barn which was the start of showing Ohio farmers that they can be successful. He paved the way for much of pig farming coming back to Ohio.
I’ve been blessed to get to know the Surber family and they were kind enough to share their favorite ham loaf recipe with you! Oh…and this was an awesome day because we got to have dessert BEFORE dinner. We stopped by Batter Up Bakery in Leesburg, Ohio. It was their prep day and we sampled fresh from the oven blueberry donuts and lemon blueberry cookies. Mouthwatering!! If you’re ever in Southwest Ohio, stop by this bakery and sample some of their donuts or other baked goods, many made with locally sourced fresh fruits!
How to Make Ham Loaf
Ham loaf is an easy recipe to make. If you’ve ever made meatloaf, it is very similar. You start by running 2.25 pounds of ham through a food processor to chop it up. If you have a meat grinder, you could do that too. Add ground pork, mustard, ketchup, chopped onions, milk and …..graham crackers! Unique, right? Graham crackers really add to the flavor of this ham loaf.
This ham loaf will take about an hour and a half to bake. You’ll want to baste it 3-4 times during cooking. The glaze will caramelize on the outside of the ham loaf. It’s amazing! Save any leftover sauce to drizzle over the ham loaf slices while serving.
Ham Loaf Glaze
This ham loaf is basted with an easy 4-ingredient glaze. Crushed pineapple (with the juice!), brown sugar, vinegar and a touch of mustard. Cook it together on the stovetop and allow it to boil for 1 minute. The sweet flavor pairs so well with ham.
Scroll past the recipe to read answers to some questions we’ve received about pig farming.
Ham Loaf Recipe
For the Ham Loaf:
- 2 1/4 pounds ground ham (precooked ham)
- 3/4 pound ground pork
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1 medium onion (chopped)
- 1 1/2 cups graham crackers (crushed)
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/2 tablespoon paprika
For the Glaze:
- 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
- 8 ounces crushed pineapple (with juice)
Make the Ham Loaf:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a large bowl, mix together the ground ham, pork, eggs, mustard, ketchup, onion, graham crackers and milk. Mix well.
- Spray a 9x13 baking pan with cooking spray.
- Shape the ham mixture into a loaf, packing the meat firmly.
- Sprinkle the top of the ham loaf with paprika.
- Bake the ham loaf for 20 minutes. During this 20 minutes, make the pineapple glaze.
- Combine the glaze ingredients together in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook and stir until the sauce comes to a boil, then boil for 1 minute.
- Remove from the heat and set aside until the ham loaf is ready to glaze.
Finish Baking the Ham Loaf:
- After the initial 20 minutes of baking, brush the top of the loaf with the pineapple glaze.
- Bake again for 70 minutes, basting the ham loaf 2 or 3 more times during baking.
- Serve warm with any leftover pineapple glaze drizzled on top.
Why are the pigs kept indoors?
It may not seem right that the pigs are kept indoors, but it’s actually for the best. Their living conditions are cleaner and temperature is regulated to help keep the pigs comfortables. There are even misters to mist the pigs when air temperatures get too hot. Keeping the pigs indoors has also helped cut down in disease.
Anytime a group of pigs are moved from a section of the barn, it is cleaned top to bottom. Clean barns, clean food, clean water for the pigs is extremely important to the farmers.
Are the facilities clean?
The hog barn I visited was shower in/shower out. What does this mean? Everyone that enters the barn has to shower before they enter. That’s wash your hair, scrub your body…all of it. Nothing from the outside goes in without being cleaned. So we showered and put on clean scrubs to enter the barn. Then after you are done in the barn, you shower before getting back into your street clothes. Why shower in/shower out? This helps disease exposure. Anything to keep the pigs (and people) from spreading disease is what they are all about!
Are the pigs given hormones?
As per the Ohio Pork website, hormones are not allowed to be used when raising pigs. Often times you will see labels with “No Hormones Added”. Don’t let this sway you in choosing brands. It’s slightly deceptive since the USDA does not allow hormones in any pigs.
Are the pigs given antibiotics?
There are times when pigs need to be treated with antibiotics because they are sick. Just like if you or a family member are sick, medication is often necessary to help you heal quickly and be comfortable. Because farmers care about their animals and don’t like to see them sick, they will give them antibiotics to promote healing only if absolutely necessary. This is strictly regulated and there is a withdrawal period to be sure the antibiotics are completely out of the pig’s system before entering the food supply.
Click here to read answers to other questions many have asked. The Ohio Pork Council does a great job educating the public!