The Amana Colonies are a group of German settlements on the soil-rich prairie of east-central Iowa near Iowa City. They are often mistaken for Amish because for 80 years they had a local nearly self-sufficient economy. Today it’s a tourist destination full of museums, restaurants, and shops selling the sorts of goods one might have found in its commune heyday.
A common side-dish in most restaurants there is something called Amana Pickled Ham, consisting of cubed ham, onions, water, and vinegar. You know me, I love just about anything pickled! Tom & Jan Hise brought a prepared jar of it as a gift during their recent visit and I thought it was just delicious! They had a cooler in their vehicle which allowed them to bring the “keep refrigerated” jar to me.
It was so tasty, that when it was gone, I set out to see if I could find a recipe so I could make more! I found the recipe for Amana Pickled Ham on the web and it’s really pretty simple:
4 cups cubed cooked ham
1 large onion chopped
2 cups water
1 cup vinegar
Combine all ingredients and place in quart jars. Let stand for several days before eating.
Here’s a photo of my reloaded jar, aging in my working fridge. You can adjust the recipe as I did, using just one pound of cubed ham, enough onion to fill a (packed) quart jar, and enough 2:1 water/vinegar dilution to top-off the jar. Use distilled white (pickling) vinegar, not the Apple Cider variety although that too would work, I’m sure. It just wouldn’t be authentic.
NOTE #1: Having never purchased already-cubed ham before, I had daughter Michelle pick up one of each, diced and cubed. The diced is more for adding to omelets and things and is too small for Amana Pickled Ham although I used it anyhow.
NOTE #2: You can’t order this online, because they say it’s not that popular an item (perhaps because it’s so easy to make from scratch). I spoke with Marcia at Amana Meat Shop & Smokehouse who said you can order it by phone @ $9.95/qt jar. She added I best order more than one because (at least to Florida) shipping will cost more than the product because it must be packed in a cooler and sent 2nd-Day Air.