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As long as I can remember, every Easter morning, my mother would pull a Hamloaf out of the oven. People would come from all over to grab a slice of her Ham Loaf. My mother was a great cook. I love her so much – she was my inspiration in chasing my dream of making a living out of cooking. There’s just one tiny catch here.
I never was much of a fan of my mama’s hamloaf.
I always thought my mama’s hamloaf could use some more flavor. I’ve added some chilies, changed the manner of cooking from baking to smoking, and added a few other tricks I have up my sleeve. Give my ham loaf a try, and maybe you can change your family’s Easter traditions.
First off, mix up some cow juice, roasted garlic bread crumbs, and cackleberries in a bowl. This is going to serve as the base of the ham loaf. You can use different flavors of bread crumbs, if you like, but I do prefer some roasted garlic.
Now – for the ground ham. Find you a pound and a half of fully cooked ham, and run it through a meat grinder. If you don’t have a meat grinder, just take it to your local meat market or the meat department of the grocery store and ask the feller in the back to do you a favor. He’ll do it in exchange for the recipe, I bet.
Tip: Grinding meat? Throw a few slices of good bacon in the grinder with the rest of it. It’ll put almost any recipe over the top.
Make sure you also grind up about six slices of bacon with the ham. Mix the ham and bacon with some pork sausage. Slice up a yellow onion – yellow onions are a little sweet and will be a nice addition to the ham loaf. Add it to the meat mixture.
You have the best ham loaf mixers attached to your arm right there. Put on some gloves if you like and mix all of the ground meat, milk, eggs, and of course – some Hatch green chilies. My mama would have never used these but I know this loaf needs ’em.
Form Into a Loaf
If the mixture does not hold together in a loaf, add some bread crumbs. If you’ve ever made a meat loaf you know exactly how firm this stuff should be. Give the loaf a generous bath of my original Mesquite seasoning and get the fire started.
Using hardwood lump charcoal, start the fire. Place the loaf on a bed of bread crumbs on top of a cookie sheet. Lay uncooked bacon over the top and tuck underneath. I’m using about four pieces, you use as much as you can fit on there.
Tip: If the loaf isn’t staying together, place in the ice box for about 20 minutes and it’ll stay together just fine.
Place the baking sheet on the grill over indirect heat at about 250 degrees for an hour and twenty minutes.
While the ham loaf is smoking, mix together the glaze. When the internal temperature is between 140 and 150, use some tongs to move the loaf over to direct heat for ten minutes or so, continually basting with the homemade glaze.
Remove from heat. Allow to sit for about five minutes, and then slice and serve with your favorite traditional Easter sides, like my Hot Cross Buns and Deviled Eggs.
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Smoked Hamloaf – Cowboy Kent Rollins
- 2 large eggs beaten
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup roasted garlic bread crumbs
- 1 ½ pound ground fully cooked ham
- 1 pound ground pork sausage
- 1 pound bacon plus 6 slices for topping
- 2 cans chopped green chilies
- 1 teaspoon Kent Rollins' Mesquite Seasoning or your favorite seasoned salt
- 1 yellow onion chopped
- ½ cup light brown sugar packed
- 3 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoon honey dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
- In a large bowl, beat the eggs; add milk, bread crumbs and mix well and set aside.
- In a separate bowl combine the ground ham, bacon and pork sausage and mix well.
Add the green chilis and Kent Rollins' Mesquite Seasoning or seasoning of your suiting and mix well.
Add the bread crumb mixture and mix well with your hands. Form into a loaf, and wrap with uncooked bacon.
Preheat the grill to 250 degrees and place the meat on the indirect side of the smoker for about 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until the internal temp is 140 to 150 degrees F., Next, with a set of tongs, move over to the direct side and cook another 10 to 12 minutes or until the internal temp is 160 degrees F., basting often with the glaze.
- In a small mixing bowl add the brown sugar, vinegar, mustard and worcestershire sauce and mix well.