I continue my tribute to my mother-in-law and the cooking evolution of the 1950’s housewife with this dish-a favorite recipe among my husband’s family. It’s an easy weeknight dinner requiring no spices or fancy ingredients. We often make this after any holiday that leaves us with leftover ham (like Easter!). Just cut the ham into chunks and shred them in your food processor.
I’ve made one change to the recipe. It calls for just a cup of cracker crumbs but it’s so moist that I make it with two cups, or about one whole sleeve of Ritz crackers.
The topping tastes much like barbecue sauce. The loaf is really delicious-served with a side of potatoes, you really get a picture of a wholesome, 1950’s dinner.
There is actually a second version of this recipe in my cookbook. It has no topping but is basted with a sauce of 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup vinegar, 1 cup brown sugar and 1 teaspoon dry mustard and then is served with heated cherry pie filling. (!) I leave it to you to decide which version to try!
1 1/2 pound ground ham
1 cup ketchup, divided
1/2 cup milk
2 cups (one sleeve) of crushed Ritz crackers
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Mix the ham, eggs, 1/2 cup of ketchup, milk, and the crackers in a large bowl until well combined. Spoon mixture into a loaf pan.
In a small bowl, combine the remaining 1/2 cup of ketchup, brown sugar, and mustard. Spread evenly over the meat.
Bake for one hour.