Sunday, April 20, 2014

Using leftover ham from Easter – Use the bone to make soup – start with making ham stock

Don’t let anything go to waste from your Easter ham, not even the bone. Make a ham stock to make either split pea or lentil soup – it is economical and tasty. Split pea or lentil soup served with a sandwich of any kind makes for a nutritious lunch or dinner.
Use up the ham bone and the ham left on the bone from Easter
Where to start? Start by putting the ham bone in either a 6-quart or larger stock pot or crock pot. Peel a couple of onions and chop into quarters and put them in the stock pot or crock pot. Add a celery rib or two, and then add a peeled carrot or two. Cover everything with water.

Making the soup is much easier if you have a crock pot because you won’t have to watch it. If using a crock pot, turn on LOW heat and let it all simmer for at least 12 hours. This is good to do overnight.

If making in a stock pot you’re going to have to watch this. If the water boils down you’re going to need to add more water. Once any meat starts falling off the bone, it’s done. This should take about 2 to 3 hours, maybe less.

Once you have cooked down the ham bone, let the stock cool for a bit, maybe an hour or so. It may take longer for the crock pot to cool down.

Carefully remove the bone, meat, carrots, onions and celery from the stock pot or crock pot. Let the stock cool to room temperature then cover and refrigerate overnight. In the morning skim off any fat that has risen to the top.

Dice up the ham and veggies and pack up in a zip locking bag to use when you make soup. Make sure you label and date the bag.

Freeze, or refrigerate if you’re going to use the ham stock right away. Make sure to label and date the packages if you are freezing. Put the veggies and meat together with the stock in the freezer so you can just grab to both bags when you’re ready to make split pea soup.

When you’re all done, discard that ham bone, but not until you have used up all the meat that was left on it from your Easter dinner.

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