Sneak Peek: Slow-Cooker Pulled Ham served with a Honey-Mustard Barbecue Sauce is a make-ahead shredded ham that’s gentle on the pocketbook, easy to serve, and fun to eat
Often when I encounter cooked ham (especially in a sandwich), I see pieces of fat hanging off the edges that need to be trimmed off. Performing surgery at the table seems uncouth, but I am obsessed.
With this pulled ham recipe, the “fat-ectomy” is done ahead. No more worries about cutting the big pieces in half, looking for the slice with the least fat, or avoiding the dried-out slices (not that I would ever really do that, of course.)
Do you love make-ahead recipes?
Spending quite a bit of time in the kitchen is
I am smitten with this simple and inexpensive way to prepare shredded ham that I first saw here. Mel cooked hers on the stove. But since I’m a slow cooker girl, this is my version.
4 reasons why this ham is perfect for a celebration:
All the work can be done ahead of time.
Buy an unsliced, bone-in, smoked, shank ham. Cook it a day or two ahead of time in your slow cooker with water and cider vinegar.
After cooling a bit, shred the ham with two forks, your fingers, or a food processor (using the bread kneading blade).
Another easy way to shred ham is in a stand mixer. Use the flat beater attachment. Add chunks of ham to the bowl. Select a medium speed and turn on. After about 30 seconds (depending on how much meat is in the bowl), you will have shredded meat.
Store in the refrigerator.
Pulled ham (or gammon) requires no attention for the last hour before serving.
You will have plenty of time to attend to other details of your meal.
When you are ready to serve, pop ham into the oven (or back into the slow cooker) layered with brown sugar and mustard.
The subtle vinegar flavor left behind from the long cooking time combined with the sugar/mustard treatment results in an irresistibly tender and piquant meat entree.
The long water and vinegar bath help to neutralize the salt.
Ham can be really salty, but sitting in the slow cooker all day helps.
What about all the fat?
As you shred the ham, it’s easy to pull out any fatty pieces. Honestly, dissecting the fat from the meat can be slightly tedious. But since you can do it ahead of time, it’s forgivable. Exam gloves are helpful.
Easier to serve and eat than a whole ham.
It’s easy for kids to eat this ham since no fat has to be trimmed off on their plate, and the shreds are already bite-sized.
Or, stuff some into homemade or store-bought slider buns for an easy-to-eat miniature sandwich.
How to make slow-cooker pulled ham:
I prefer this ham with no additional condiments. But if you are a mustard lover, you might appreciate an extra dose of mustard flavor provided by the Honey-Mustard Barbecue Sauce pictured below.
Incidentally, grilled meats such as ribs or chicken benefit from the same treatment.
Speaking of homemade rolls, the bread you see in the picture above is my best clone of Sweet Hawaiian Bread. You can make it in your bread machine.
Do you need more ideas for ham?
Did you enjoy this recipe? You can help others (and me) by leaving a rating on the recipe card itself underneath the picture. No comment required. Thank you.
Hope to see you again soon!
p.s. Questions? Email me: paula at saladinajar.com.
- 7-10 pound bone-in, unsliced, smoked, shank ham
- 2 cups apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup prepared mustard (or Dijon)
Honey-Mustard Barbecue Sauce
- 1 slice bacon, diced
- 3/4 cup frozen chopped onion
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 3/4 cup prepared yellow mustard
- 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Place ham into a large slow cooker large enough to still get the lid on. You may have to chop off a piece to accomplish this. No harm. Just lay the cut off piece beside the ham in the cooker.
- Pour 2 cups apple cider vinegar over ham, then fill a slow cooker with water to barely cover the ham.
- Cook on Low for 8-10 hours.
- Remove ham from water--discard water. When cool enough to handle, pull the ham off the bone. (Save the bone for your next pot of beans.) Use 2 forks or gloved hands to shred ham. You can refrigerate at this point or proceed if serving immediately.
- In a separate bowl, combine brown sugar and mustard (either prepared yellow mustard or Dijon--your preference) and stir to make a paste.
- Layer half of ham into 9 x 9-inch or similar casserole dish.
- Spread half of the brown sugar/mustard paste over the first layer of ham. Then add remaining ham, topping with remaining brown sugar paste.
- Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees or until heated through.
- You could also put the ham back into the empty slow cooker layered with the brown-sugar/mustard sauce and cook on low for 2-3 hours.
Honey Mustard Barbecue Sauce:
- Fry bacon in a medium saucepan until crisp. Scoop bacon out of the pan leaving drippings behind and drain on paper towel.
- Sauté onion and garlic 2-3 minutes in drippings until soft.
- Add remaining ingredients, including crispy bacon bits and bring to a boil. Reduce temperature and simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Refrigerate leftovers
This freezes well. I love to portion it into small individual packages that I can nuke and add to my salad or make into a quick sandwich. Try it in a baked potato, baked sweet potato, or add to a chicken barbecue pizza. How about some ham and cheese quesadillas? So many possibilities....
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 183Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 25mgSodium: 629mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 1gSugar: 26gProtein: 10g