Ham Stock.

I inherited two spiral ham bones from my in-laws on Christmas this year, so I put them to good use today.  I did some research online about how to make ham stock and sort of piecemealed this recipe together from it (using things I had in the house).  I ended up with 26 pints of stock and a pound of half of ham once I cleaned off the bones…not bad for free!

Ingredients:

  • ham bones (with at least some meat left on them)
  • celery
  • carrots
  • onions
  • parsley
  • water

Instructions:

  • Put ham bones in a large stock pot.
  • Add celery, carrots, onions, and parsley (no need to chop into tiny pieces)
  • Fill the pot with water.
  • Bring to a boil; simmer for several hours.
  • Strain the stock and remove all veggies (they can be useful one last time in your compost bin!); set the ham bones aside to clean and retrieve any scraps of meat.
  • Refrigerate overnight.
  • Remove any fat that has solidified on the surface and bring stock back to a boil.
  • Pour into canning jars (following the standard pressure canning process, see post here for the basics).
  • Cook at ten pounds of pressure (depending on your elevation) for 25 minutes.

Notes:

  • I lucked out in having donated ham bones.  If you don’t want to make a whole ham to get the bones that way, you can purchase ham hocks or some other smaller/cheaper cut of ham.
  • I had the veggies stashed in my freezer; they were ones that had been on their last legs somewhere along the way and I kept stocking them away for exactly this purpose.  Now they weren’t wasted!
  • I also used some of the stock to make a double batch of Hearty Soup; I modified that slightly for the canner (you’re not supposed to include rice or pasta in things that you can, so I just increased the amount of lentils/split peas/barley to make up for it).  I canned the soup in pint-and-a-half jars at 10 pounds for 75 minutes.  I haven’t tasted it yet but I don’t think the change will be that drastic.
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