Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Every year my mom makes these for my birthday dinner, along with an amazing pineapple upside down cake. I look forward to this meal every single year. When I was in 5th grade she became manager of a deli counter at a local grocery store, this recipe was one that she discovered in their books and soon became a regular on our dinner menu at home.
If I had to guess, I would say ham balls are sort of a Midwestern thing. I know quite a few people that have yet to try this delicious meal. I think you honestly either love them or hate them. My husband and one of our girls does not care for them, while the other two girls and myself love them.
Our local Fareway store grinds up their own ham loaf, half ground ham and half ground pork; I always use this mixture when preparing these. I love the sweet and pineapple taste of ham balls, they are definitely on the sweet side but I wouldn't say overbearing. Serve these with baked potatoes and veggies and I think it helps to round out all of the flavors.
Since my batch made close to 3 dozen balls and I knew we wouldn't eat that many in one sitting. I froze the remaining two dozen. Once you have your mixture made up, take a medium sized cookie scoop and place balls onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Stick the ham balls in the freezer for at least 1-2 hours and then transfer to a freezer bag. These will keep in your freezer for a few months and you have another meal already made up for when things get busy.
2 lb. ham loaf (or use 1 lb. ground ham + 1 lb. ground pork)
1 tsp ground mustard
1/4 c brown sugar
1/4 c milk
1 tbsp honey
1 c graham cracker crumbs
15 oz. can pineapple tidbits
1-2 tbsp brown sugar
In a large bowl combine ham loaf, eggs, mustard, brown sugar, milk, honey and graham crackers. Mix together well, I find using my hands for this works the best. Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish with cooking spray, if you're making an entire batch you will probably need more than one dish. With a medium sized cookie scoop, scoop mixture into balls and place into prepared dish. Drizzle a little bit of water into pan so that ham balls won't dry out. Bake at 350 for about 45 mins-1 hour. During the last 10 mins of baking, add in pineapple and sprinkle brown sugar on top. *I don't usually put the whole can of pineapple in, use as much or as little as you'd like.