What to get when you have a craving for ham but don’t want to cook the entire ham leg? The answer is ham steak! There’s so much you can do with just a piece of ham. It’s such a versatile ingredient that once you’ve mastered how to cook fresh ham steak, you’ll never grow bored of it!
A high steaks guide to cooking ham (steak!)
How to cook fresh ham steak?
Fresh ham steaks when bought may look already cooked and ready to be eaten but in reality, most of them are still raw. To avoid getting sick from the meat, read the packaging thoroughly, and cook or thaw them accordingly. Once cooked, they can be prepared in a multitude of ways.
Ham Steak with various pan sauce:
The good thing with sauced ham steak is that it pairs exceptionally well with all kinds of sauces. This means regardless of how picky your family is, you can always please them with a sauce catered to their palate.
Most popularly made with a citrusy fruit base such as pineapple or orange, the sweetness of these sauces helps “cut” through the steak’s heavy and salty flavor. If you don’t prefer to have fruits in an entrée, maple glazed or sometimes just a simple brown sugar and butter sauce on your ham steak is fantastic.
Brown sugar and butter sauce
The way to prepare a simple ham steak is rather similar in nature. For a simple baseline brown sugar and butter sauce ham steak, you will need:
- 1 250 grams bone-in fresh ham steak
- 90 grams of butter (about 5 – 6 cubes)
- 60 grams of brown sugar (about 5 tablespoons)
- Olive oil (optional)
In this recipe, white sugar can also be used as a substitution for brown sugar. While the aroma might not be as alluring, the color change is much easier for novice chefs to monitor while cooking.
Step 1: Cook the Ham Steak
Take the ham steak out of the freezer for 10 – 15 minutes until it reaches room temperature. Afterwards, cook the steak with some olive oil and butter until it’s golden brown. This should take you 8 minutes, with 3 – 4 minutes each side. Then, remove the ham and leave it to drain.
Step 2: Make the sauce
Using that very same pan, put in about 4 cubes of butter and heat them lightly until melted. Gradually stir in the sugar, whisk with your wooden spoon and then put the ham steak back in. Turn the steak often to avoid burning it.
Step 3: Serve
After heating and turning the steak for 8 to 10 minutes, serve it alongside the sauce.
Red Eye Gravy:
This is a Southern US signature, known for its distinctive reddish hue and seemingly unorthodox coffee-based sauce. Rather opposite to the sugar and butter sauce mentioned above, the Red Eye features a bitter yet somewhat smoky taste of coffee and the savory taste of the ham steak, all combined into one unexpected package.
To make this sauce, you need:
- 1 250 grams bone-in fresh ham steak\
- 1 cup of black coffee (around 240 mL)
- ⅓ cup of ham fat, trimmed from the steak
- ½ cup of flour
- Salt, pepper and cayenne pepper or smoked paprika
In order to prepare a delicious dish of Red Eye Gravy ham steak, these are the steps you must follow:
Step 1: Cook the Ham Steak
Instead of butter or olive oil, toss in the ham fat onto a hot pan and stir them around until the fat is rendered off. Remember to season them with salt and pepper to taste.
Then, put the ham steak in and cook them until they turn brownish gold. This should take you 4 minutes each side. Be careful with the hot sizzling fat, they burn!
Step 2: Prep the gravy
Take the ham steak out and partially drain it of fat. Then deglaze the pan with black coffee. Whisk gentle and make sure that all the fat bits and ham pieces are all scraped up. When the coffee starts boiling, stir in the flour until they mix thoroughly.
Continue heating until there’s only half the original coffee left.
Step 3: Plate and serve
Serve the steak onto a plate and nappe it with the gravy. You can pair the steak with some biscuits or vegetables
Tips and tricks when cooking ham steak
Certainly there’s more to just having ham steak and sauce! You can dice the steak and fold them in with potatoes, leek and carrots for an amazing soup or broth. You can even buy an entire joint of Gammon and bake them with honey and Madeira glaze. The possibilities are endless!
That said, however, when cooking ham steak, there is one golden rule that you must not forget, and that is:
Salt and pepper is your friend!
While it’s true ham is naturally salted, you should always have some salt stand by when cooking ham steak. The salt and pepper adds another layer of flavour without significantly altering the ham. Gordon Ramsay once compared salt to a “magnifier of flavour” in an episode of MasterChef US. So don’t neglect it!
Don’t be discouraged by a piece of ham steak. Being amongst the cheapest cuts of a pig, it just so happens to be the easiest to cook and enjoy. Knowing how to cook fresh ham steak means that you can prepare a feast like a chef without even breaking a sweat! Have fun cooking!