What To Do With Leftover Ham

Nothing beats the satisfaction of pulling out all the stops and presenting a lovingly-glazed, succulent, home-cooked ham to the table. With rich aromas filling the house, the spectacle of a large ham is bound to steal the show when you're keen to impress your guests. 

Unlike some meats, which can dry out and look uninspiring the following day, ham leftovers are a goldmine of possibilities and inspiration.

The pigs we use for our famous DukesHill ham have been carefully selected, outdoor bred, raised gently and shown utmost respect during the curing process. Food is precious and should never be wasted; at DukesHill, we believe that using every bit of meat is an act of respect for the pig, and everyone in the food chain. 

Freezing Leftover Ham

If you can’t decide what to do with your leftover ham, freeze it as it is and come back to it another day. This is how you freeze ham:

  • Divide - Firstly, divide your leftover ham into smaller meal-sized portions. This makes thawing much easier and prevents further unnecessary waste. Remember, you won’t be able to refreeze anything left over.
  • Wrap - Wrap the ham in airtight packaging to prevent freezer burn. Baking parchment between slices of ham works well.
  • Label - nothing’s worse than a freezer full of mystery parcels. Clearly label your ham along with the freezing date so you can keep track of it.
  • Storing - Ham can be frozen for 3 months before the quality declines. 
  • Thawing frozen ham - It’s best to thaw frozen ham in the fridge. Leave it overnight for the best results. It takes a little longer but it’s the safest option and helps to retain the ham’s moisture and flavour.

1. The Ultimate Ham Sandwich

It’s hard to beat a classic jambon beurre. The epitome of simplicity, the jambon beurre has three mighty ingredients - a baguette, thickly spread butter and the best quality ham. Much greater than the sum of its parts, the jambon beurre has a magical quality with the restraint from what’s not in it. But if you did want to get creative, perhaps lace your sandwich with a homemade pesto to add a burst of freshness to this classic lunch. Try pounding seasonal herbs (wild garlic, basil, rocket, spinach, watercress - anything with a pronounced aroma and bite) with garlic, nuts, Parmesan cheese, olive oil and a little lemon juice. This beautiful combination looks too good to cover with bread, so don’t - leave it as an open sandwich so you can see the colours shine through.

2. Ham Hock Soup

If you're looking for something warm, comforting and packed with goodness, this easy Ham Hock Soup recipe is the one for you! Ham hock soup is an indulgent but healthy British classic and a simple way to add lots of vegetables to your diet in the New Year. Ham hock itself is an especially tasty cut of meat and imparts wonderful flavour on the soup, proving that you really can make easy and healthy recipes without sacrificing anything when it comes to taste.

3. Ham Tarte Tatin

Try making a savoury ham tarte tatin with your leftovers. Make a sticky balsamic glaze out of 50/50 dark sugar and vinegar - just like the base to a good chutney - before adding your leftover ham and laying root vegetables to the pan. Tuck them in with a blanket of puff pastry and bake for 40 minutes. The ham goes beautifully candied and stands up to the caramelised vegetables and layers of flaky pastry. Serve with blue cheese and bitter salad leaves.

4. Pithivier

Deceptively simple to make, you can pile up your delicious leftovers and enclose it in a decorated dome of puff pastry. Layers of creamy potato, onion and ham encased in flaky pastry works wonders - you can make it in advance until you’re ready to bake it.

5. Ham & Leek Pie

The grandfather of comfort food, a ham and leek pie is a sure-fire crowd pleaser for the whole family. Handy to make and freeze so you can pull it out on a rainy day. Be generous with your filling - sweat down plenty of leeks to form a sweet-base, before adding chunks of your leftover ham.  A ham and leek pie is such a thoughtful gift for a neighbour, family or friends too - if you’ve got plenty of ham perhaps make two so you can give one away too.

Further Ideas For Leftover Ham

  • Ham and cheese omelette
  • Spaghetti Carbonara
  • Ham fried rice
  • Twice-baked stuffed potatoes with ham and cabbage
  • Ham quiche

There are few savoury dishes that won’t benefit from the addition of succulent cubes of ham. So roll up your sleeves and let your creativity shine through! We’d love to see your delicious creations so please tag us on Instagram @dukeshill so we can enjoy your ham dishes too.