Virginia Smithfield Ham Spread

Makes at least 2 cocktail servings

Virginia Smithfield Ham Spread


Various pork spreads have been around Virginia since Jeffersonian days, and none is more distinctive than those made with the state's legendary Smithfield ham. Typically, a crock of this spread is served with toast triangles or beaten biscuits and tiny dill pickles at receptions and cocktail parties, but it's also not unusual to see on fancy buffets a ring mold of something like creamed mushrooms with a mound of spicy spread in the center. Do note that no salt or other seasoning should be added to those in the recipe, and remember that if you insist on soaking the ham to reduce the salt, you also leach out much of the sublime flavor.

  • 1 pound Smithfield or other cured country ham
  • 2-1/2 cups half-and-half
  • 2 tablespoons Madeira
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered sage

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a 6-cup ovenproof crock or mold and set aside.

2. With a sharp knife, finely chop the ham and place in a bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and stir till blended thoroughly. Scrape the mixture into the prepared crock or mold, cover tightly with foil, and bake till firm, about 30 minutes. Serve the spread hot or at room temperature with toast, crackers, or small beaten biscuits.

  • from:
    King of the Southern Table
  • by James Villas
  • Wiley 2010
  • Hardcover; $34.95
  • ISBN-10: 0470194014
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470194010
  • Reprinted by permission.

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This page created September 2010

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