Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Canned Meat?

National Canned Meat Week

is here!

Now, most of us are familiar with the grandaddy of all canned meat and meat-by-products, SPAM.

Hawaii and much of the South Pacific would not be where they are today without this delicacy. However, as much as SPAM is enjoyed, vilified, and worshipped the world over, it is not the only tin out there. 

Behold :

Check out this small selection of canned meat delicacies from Best Prices Storable Foods.

PRODUCT  (Number of Cans Per Case)                     PER CAN           PER CASE

Beef in Natural Juices (12 cans)                  9.50        108.00
Beef in Natural Juices, small can (12 cans)       6.45         70.00
Hamburger w/ Natural Juices (12 cans)             9.50        108.00
Hamburger w/ Natural Juices, small can (12 cans)  6.45         70.00
Boneless Chicken in Natural Juices (12 cans)      9.50        108.00
Boneless Chicken in Nat'l Juices, sm.can(12 cans) 6.45         70.00
Tender Turkey in Natural Juices (12 cans)         9.50        108.00
Tender Turkey in Natural Juices, sm. can(12 cans) 6.45         70.00
Tender Pork in Natural Juices (12 cans)           9.50        108.00
Tender Pork in Natural Juices, sm. can (12 cans)  6.45         70.

All prices in USD. Does not include shipping and handling.

Also, don't forget their mouthwatering recipe section HERE for culinary suggestions.

As wonderful as all of this sounds, there really is no substitute for the real thing. And by "real thing", I mean do it yourself. Yes, for those of you feeling adventurous, The Mother Earth News has a very detailed article HERE on "Canning Meat The Right Way". Yes, you too can now can whole chickens, quail, venison, squirrels, and any other meat item that you can find all in the comfort of your own home. Get the whole family involved!

Personally, this was always one of my childhood tinned meat favorites. Whether coming in from a cold snowball fight or at Gran'Ma's house for afternoon lunch, William Underwood's meat spread on whole wheat toast was the working man's Pâté. Even the almighty liverwurst played second fiddle to this stuff. As nostalgic as this canned meat product is for me, it's really not that hard to make your own version at home.

Here's mine :

A Devilish Ham

This is a great way to use up that whole spiral-sliced ham that came with the fruit basket that your Aunt Gladys gave you as a "Welcome Home from Bunion Surgery" present.

1 1/2 lbs. (680g.) leftover Spiral-Sliced Ham, cut into 1/2-inch (1.2-cm.) pieces
  • INGREDIENT NOTE: if you don't have any leftover ham, a canned ham, such as DAK or some other brand, works great too! See the VARIATIONS section below for details.
1 1/4 cup Mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Whole Grain Mustard
2 tablespoons Dijon Mustard
1 cup finely chopped Vidalia Onion
The juice of 1 Lemon
1/4 cup drained Capers (not salt packed)
3 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
2 tablespoons fresh Flat-Leaf Parsley (leaves only), finely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons sweet Hungarian Paprika
1 teaspoon Siracha (Thai Chili Garlic Sauce) or 20 dashes Tabasco or other hot sauce, plus more as needed
1 teaspoon Celery Seed
1/2 teaspoon Coleman's Mustard Powder
Freshly Ground Black Pepper, a few good healthy grinds

Place everything into a food processor and pulse until smooth, making sure to scrape down the sides of the processor bowl every so often to ensure even mixing.

Turn the mixture out into an attractive bowl or into ramekins and refrigerate for a few hours to let the flavors blend.

Use as a spread for crackers or a filling for toasted sandwiches.

SERVES : A large cocktail party or backyard barbecue.

VARIATIONSAll of the above measured amounts can be cut in half for more modest gatherings or to adjust the seasonings to your liking.

As I mentioned above, leftover cooked ham is ideal for this but a canned one will work as well. With a canned ham, pay close attention to the consistency of the mixture in the food processor. Many canned hams have added water which will make things too loose and not be pâté-like. A little more dry mustard powder and less prepared mustard solves this problem.

My personal favorite substitution is to use a bone-in fresh ham from your favorite delicatessen. My deli here in NYC makes these hams daily. I have them give me the bone and whatever meat that is left on it after they're done making perfect very expensive hand-cut slices for the glitterati. I get a bone to make soup with and two pounds of shredded ham for three dollars. Who's the smart on here?

Now, if you can't find any of these types of ham, your delicatessen will still be able to come to the rescue. Any good quality ham, such as Boar's Head, will work fabulously here. Just ask the deli-guy for one big chunk of ham which you can cut up yourself. The best part about using this type of ham is that they come in various flavors like honey roasted, smoked, maple cured, etc. which gives you limitless possibilities.

What would William Underwood have to say about that?

Recipe ©2011 Wait At The Bar

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