Things I Like: Amana Pickled Ham

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.



Filed under Food, Things I Like

5 responses to “Things I Like: Amana Pickled Ham

  1. I hope you succeed in making your own pickled ham. It doesn't sound like a difficult recipe, given the proper ingredients.

    Please let us know how it works out. Of course, if we visit you again we will bring down a supply from Amana.

  2. Jan

    So glad you liked the pickled ham. I thought you would…Tom was a little doubtful. If your recipe does not work, let us know…we can always get some to you. Enjoy, my friend.

  3. Thanks Jan and Tom. I am confident my recipe will work and with the need for the pickled ham to make the trek under refrigeration, shipping really isn't an affordable option for us.

    I much appreciate your willingness though, and am very thankful you introduced me to this little treat. Thanks!

  4. I snuck a taste from the top of the jar and found I had somehow not removed the grease from the packaged ham prior to adding it (even though I saw no grease at the time).

    There wasn't all that much grease, but next time, the added ham will get degreased first somehow.

    Also, at a 2:1, the water/vinegar dilution hase no “bite,” so next time I'll decrease the amount of water used.

  5. I make pickled ham every Christmas, I purchase an entire ham just for this as it is one of my favorite things to eat. it is similar to your recipe, except I use only vinegar, and I use a handful of Scotch Bonnet Peppers. Properly made, it will bring tears to your eyes…literally. As they say love hurts, I enjoyed your site very much. Thank you.

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