Ham balls are a Midwestern staple eaten frequently during the Holiday season. I first had them at a supper at my mother in law’s home shortly after marrying my farm boy. Having a mother from Spain and a father from Mexico, Midwestern dishes were very new to me, so it was fun for me to learn about this new culture and the recipes typical to this part of the region. I’m still a little at odds with the name, but in the Midwest they call it like they see it, so ham balls it is.
Much like a comforting Midwestern minute steak, ham balls will warm you up on even on the coldest of days. They’re both sweet and a bit sour making them a great meal to serve on Christmas Eve, or as an appetizer to ring in the New Year. Either way, they’re delightful to make, as it doesn’t take much preparation time and I’m sure these will please even the pickiest of eaters.
Midwestern Ham Balls for the Holidays
These ham balls typically call for brown sugar, but in order to make them a bit more nourishing, I like to substitute it for coconut palm sugar or organic whole cane sugar – they’re not as sweet, but turn out just as lovely. Also, the sauce is made up of tomato soup. I like to make big batches of homemade tomato soup to eat with grilled cheese sandwiches and then freeze the leftovers to use specifically for this recipe.
- 1 lb ground pork
- 1 lb ham, minced
- 1/2 lb ground beef
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- 1 egg
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cups tomato soup
- 1/2 cup organic whole cane sugar or coconut palm sugar (substitute organic brown sugar)
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
- Preheat oven to 375F
- In a large bowl, mix together the ground pork, minced ham (I mince mine in the food processor), ground beef, bread crumbs, egg, and salt. Roll into 2” balls and place in a baking dish.
- In the same bowl you mixed the meat, mix together the tomato soup, brown sugar, and red wine vinegar. Pour the sauce all over the ham balls and bake for 45 minutes or until the ham balls are cooked through.
This is a typical Midwestern meal that I re-developed to use unprocessed ingredients. Are you desiring to start feeding your family real, whole foods, but just don’t know where to start? Do you wish to cut out processed foods but think the task of switching to foods made from scratch takes too much time or is simply too expensive. If that sounds a bit like you then I would encourage you to check out my free 25 day Grace Filled Journey to Real Food.
Starting on January 2nd, 2014, each day, for 25 days, you will receive an email from me teaching you the basics of switching from a processed, standard American diet, to a traditional real foods lifestyle. I’m also including 3 free weeks of menu plans, a restaurant guide, and a product list of where you can shop for pre-made staples to save you time in the kitchen.
God Bless You,
Diana, My Humble Kitchen