Classics: Deviled Ham

How to Make Deviled Ham

Before we even get started, I realize that I’ve already lost some of you. Some, or maybe even most of you, read the title of this post, and moved right along to your next stop on the Internet, for sweeter websites filled with 100% more Thin Mint-and-Nutella-filled cupcakes and at least 50% less ground up spicy seasoned pork paste. Some of you may be unable to disassociate your thoughts about deviled ham from those tiny tins of “Underwood” -brand Deviled Ham, with its pitchfork-wielding red devil leering ominously from the white paper package. Others may have a visceral, negative reaction to the notion of blending cooked ham with mayonnaise. But for those of you who are still with me, those who ran out of ideas for what to do with the five pounds of leftover Easter ham you have sitting sweating in your fridge, somewhere around three in the morning, when you were standing in your bathrobe in front of the open refrigerator and eating what you swore was your last slice, I have a solution. That solution is deviled ham.

How to Make Deviled Ham

With origins in the mid-1800’s, the process of “deviling” can be applied to almost anything, including hard boiled eggs, organ meats, or in this case, cooked leftover ham. The remains of our honey-glazed spiral cut ham are ground up, mixed with mustard and other spices, and used as a flavorful, unique spread for crunchy crackers or for (not so) fancy tea sandwiches with the crusts cut off and eaten with pinky extended. Still not on board with the whole idea? Close your eyes, pretend that it was presented to you as “Downeast Country Pate” on a fancy charcuterie board at a sidewalk cafe, with a few toast points, a handful of cornichons, and an ice cold beer that cost more than a used iPod Touch.

How to Make Deviled Ham

Deviled Ham

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups cooked ham (about 1/2 pound), chopped
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons whole grain mustard
  • 3 tablespoons onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon whole capers, drained
  • 3-4 tablespoons curly parsley
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce (or your favorite hot sauce, to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon sweet pickle relish

Method:

How to Make Deviled Ham

Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse in one second bursts, scraping down sides of bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Pulse until very well combined, but not quite a smooth paste (some texture here is good). Cover and chill in refrigerator for at least an hour to allow flavors to meld. Serve on crispy crackers or on white bread.

Our “Classics” series tackles some of our favorite dishes from Maine’s rich culinary tradition. You can think of them as “traditional” dishes, or more accurately, things you might have had for hot lunch in the fourth grade, had you attended St. George Elementary. To read more from this series, click here.

Malcolm Bedell

Author

Malcolm Bedell is co-author of the critically acclaimed "Eating in Maine: At Home, On the Town, and On the Road," as well as the taco-centric blog "Eat More Tacos," with writing and photography credits including Serious Eats, Down East, L.A. Weekly, The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and more. His seasonal food truck, "'Wich, Please," was named "Hottest Restaurant in Maine" for 2015 by Eater, and he finds it very silly to be trying to write this in the third person.

10 Comments
  1. I’ve never had deviled ham but not because you lost me at the sound of it, simply because I had never been introduced to it before. After reading the ingredient list, and not caring how paste like my ham is I really want to give this a try. It sounds rather delicious.

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  2. I grew up eating Underwood Deviled ham pate from a can whenever we went camping and LOVED it. My dad also made a true “ham salad” with all sorts of vegetables and horseradish that was delicious but not like deviled ham pate. As a 20 year vegetarian I purchased a log of faux ham recently and began to dream about that deviled ham. Found your recipe and am gonna give it a shot tonight. Thanks!

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    1. If you manage to make a vegetarian deviled ham, that will be a definite first for our site! 🙂 Be sure to let me know how it turns out…I’ll be waiting to hear the results!

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  3. just found this recipe… and actually it is 4:00 in the morning and I’m sick of seeing nutella recipes on pinterest. LOL I actually came looking for a deviled ham recipe and this was the first one I clicked on. After reading your first paragraph I was hooked. Going into my recipe file. Thanks

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