Ham Loaf

The Pennsylvania Dutch, or the Amish among them, are generally credited with introducing ham loaf to these shores. This is certainly plausible, given the distinctly Germanic character of the dish, but I have seen nearly identical preparations claiming to be authentically New England in origin. My version differs a bit from most in that I use onions, celery, and a bit of garlic. I also use oatmeal in place of bread crumbs to make it gluten free but either would do. To let some of the fat escape, I turn the loaf out onto a parchment-lined baking sheet rather than baking it in a loaf pan. And, I use Dijon mustard in place of the dreadful garishly yellow stuff most recipes specify; tasty brown mustard would be equally nice. One could make a ham gravy to accompany the loaf but that would be a different recipe.


Pork – 500 grams (1 pound)

Ham – 500 grams (1 pound)

Onion – 1 medium, chopped

Celery – 1 small stalk, chopped

Garlic – 2 or 3 cloves, minced

Oatmeal or breadcrumbs – 50 grams (½ cup)

Eggs – 2, lightly beaten

Milk – 250 ml (1 cup)

Parsley – to taste, minced

Black pepper – to taste


Molasses – 60 ml (¼ cup)

Apple cider vinegar – 30 ml (2 Tablespoons)

Water – 60 ml (¼ cup)

Ground mustard power – 10 ml (2 teaspoons)


Preheat oven 180°C (350°F).  Using a meat grinder or food processor chop the meats together. Mix in the rest of the ingredients (except the glaze).

Prepare the glaze by mixing all the ingredients together over low heat.

Line a sheet pan with a piece of parchment paper. Press the meat mixture into a lightly oiled loaf pan and turn out onto the pan. Pour about half of the glaze over the loaf. Bake in the hot oven to an internal temperature of 70°C (160°F), about 1 hour. Halfway through the baking, pour the rest of the glaze over the loaf.

Serve hot with suitable potatoes.


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