Potted Ham


I love all forms of charcuterie, but I’m especially enamored with pâtés, terrines, and rillettes. It’s something about their rustic, picnic-like nature.

On my sister-friend’s cooking blog a while back, I saw something I’d not made before – potted ham! I knew I’d love it. It’s a simple recipe, not much different than making rillettes. And to make it simpler I used my food processor.

If you haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Linda Duffin, whose blog is Mrs. Portly’s Kitchen, you are missing out. First of all, besides being a professional cookery teacher, recipe developer, and writer, she’s a hoot!

I often read her blog posts out loud to my husband, mostly because we can’t figure out what she’s saying, with all of her Britishisms, but we still laugh out loud!

Here is Linda posed by her infamous Aga, and a shot of her beautiful English kitchen.

A post of Linda’s from May 3, 2020, in the midst of the pandemic, had us rolling on the floor. You can read it here. My favorite line from the post is, “Get me a lobster thermador or I’ll cough on you.”

Potted Ham
Printable recipe below

5 ounces unsalted butter, softened
2 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 small garlic clove, peeled
14 ounces lean ham, trimmed
4 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
Clarified butter or duck fat

Add the butter, cream cheese, and garlic clove to a food processor. Run until the garlic is well dispersed. Chop the ham and add it to the mixture in the food processor, along with the parsley and spices. Pulse until combined, but not lose texture. This should be spreadable, but not baby food.

Taste for salt.

Add to crockery jars and top with clarified butter.

I considered getting fancy with mustard, but then just decided on a whole grain Dijon.

Serve at room temperature with toast and cornichons.

Lift off the chilled butter and dip into the wonderful ham spread.

Personally my adaptation of Ms. Duffin’s recipe is perfection. I’m sure hers is perfect as well, I just went a little fattier and a bit spicier.

Potted ham is basically ham rillettes. Add butter, spices and parsley to a meat and that’s what you get.

The potted ham would be fabulous with cheeses as well. Especially on a picnic by a creek in the Cotswolds. But for now I’ll just enjoy my potted ham in quarantine.



50 thoughts on “Potted Ham

  1. Oh, Mimi, I do love you! Thank you for the shout-out and the very kind words. It’s weird re-reading that post, because over here we’re all in the same situation again except this time with dreary winter weather and soggy gardens and countryside. I think people are finding it even harder this time around. Sometimes I worry that I’ve mislaid my sense of humour but I’m sure it’s in the kitchen somewhere, probably under a pile of cookery books.
    Your version of the potted ham looks splendid. If only we could eat it together! Lots of love, Transatlantic Sister-Friend. Lx

    • I know ☹️. And I’m sorry. We’re not completely locked down, but still choose not to go anywhere. So there is boredom. And cooking and eating! I have one more potted ham in the freezer and I’m saving it for a special occasion. Like Tuesday.

  2. this looks fabulous mimi. yes i do read linda duffin’s blog now and then. isn’t her kitchen lovely? i love a pate etc with clarified butter on top. the only way to go…

    • Thank you. It is so good. I make my mother’s recipe for liver paté but as I get older I really but good rustic rillettes for something meaty.

  3. I’ve made deviled ham, but never potted. Always wanted to, just never got around to it. This is a great recipe — gotta give it a go. Thanks!

    • I don’t think it matters at all. I used the gammon I’d cooked myself from raw, but any of those ham slices or small hams would work, trimmed. If it’s dry just add more butter!

  4. I’m going to be teaching an online class in food from the Alsace-Lorraine region of France and I might ‘steal’ your idea of potted ham! To serve this dish, you said to “lift off the butter layer” before spreading. I assume that you also eat the butter part of the recipe? Thanks!

    • No. Just like you’d cover a paté with butter or duck fat, it just seals in the meat mixture and prevents any breakdown of it. Keeps it fresh longer.

  5. Bill would love this! His mom used to grind up leftover Easter ham for ham salad. It’s been since my French Fridays with Dorie days that I’ve made a pate or terrine, most of which he wasn’t thrilled about. Yours is his kind of spread and I’d enjoy it, too.

    • It is truly enjoyable, because it has such good flavor, but it’s just meatiness. My husband won’t get near a paté because he’s scared of liver, and he won’t eat rillettes or terrines for the same reason, even though I tell him there’s no liver in them. He wouldn’t try the potted ham, either. More for the rest of us!

    • Happy to be of service! This is so good and so fun to make. You don’t have to follow my recipe exactly, but I’m sure you already know that! Enjoy. And, it freezes well.

  6. Linda has a great sense of humour and we definitely need it at the moment. Things just do not seem to be getting any better here at the moment. Still there is always hope and food! I’ve never made potted ham myself. Thanks for sharing it!

    • If you make it I can guarantee you’ll love it. And such a wonderful way to use any leftover ham! Linda is such a joy to read, and we do need humor these days!

  7. What a wonderful post! I have never made pate’ and have always purchased it for special celebrations. And I never thought about including it on a charcuterie platter . . . thanks for inspiring me to do this, Mimi. Also, I appreciate the lead to Linda’s blog. I’m always interested in the blogs that my blogging friends read. I’m on my way to visit it right after this comment.

  8. I am with you on the love for all things pâté, rillettes, etc. So it’s a good thing to be living in France! I love this potted ham version though–I’m thinking it might be an excellent thing to do with leftover holiday ham. Delicious recipe!

  9. Your post brought back memories of the first time I had pork rillettes in France, it was so very good. I like your potted ham recipe because it does sound perfect for a easy Sunday evening meal with a chunk of cheese and a glass of wine. It is similar to the deviled ham I made using leftover holiday ham.

    • I still have to look up what deviled ham is. You’re the second person who has mentioned that. I also remember the first time I had rillettes in France. I had no idea back then that you could actually buy them! but I still like making them!

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