Southern Maryland stuffed ham is a personal thing – recipes are rarely written down instead they are handed down from family member to family member.
Here, though, are some published recipes.
From the Chesapeake Bay Cookbook by John Shields, who credits this recipe to William Taylor (long known as the goodwill ambassador of St. Mary’s County), comes this version:
- 1/2 bushel of kale
- 2 medium cabbages, cored and cut in wedges
- 12 bunches wild cress
- 12 bunches green onions
- 1 bunch celery
- 1/2 cup salt
- 2 tins mustard seed
- 1/4 cup red pepper flakes
- 1 corned ham (20 punds), fat removed, boned and tied
- 1 new (optional -used may add a little extra flavor) extra-large white cotton T-shirt
Coarsely grind or chop all the vegetables. Put them in a large deep tub and work in the salt, mustard seed and pepper flakes with your hands.
Place the ham on a large baking sheet or tray with an edge. With a boning knife, cut deep half-moon slits in the ham, checkerboard fashion, 3 slits, then 4, 3, then 4, from one end to another.
With your fingers, poke some of the vegetables into the holes, filling them. Turn the ham over and repeat the process of cutting the slits and filling them.
On a clean tray, spread out the T-shirt. With scissors, cut it up the front and lay it open.
Spread half the remaining vegetables on the T-shirt and place the stuffed ham on the vegetables. Pack the rest of the vegetables over the top of the ham.
Bring up the T-shirt over the ham, stretching it. Tie the ham round and round with strong twine, adding a stout loop for lifting.
Put a small rack in a deep canning kettle and half fill the kettle with cold water. Put in the ham and add additional water to cover.
Put a lid on the kettle and bring to a boil. Lower heat and boil slowly 4 hours. After 4 hours, remove from heat and take the lid off the kettle. Leave the ham in the pot liquor overnight.
In the morning, drain well, put the ham in the plastic bag, and refrigerate for 1 day. To serve, cut away the T-shirt and the lift the ham onto a large platter. Scoop up any vegetables remaining on the shirt and path them all over the top of the ham and around the edges.
Carve the ham in thin slices, exposing the green veining. Serve extra greens and always serve cold.