Do you know what a cottage ham is?
If you’re from Cincinnati you’ve probably heard of it, but you might not know this amazing product as well as you think you do.
One of the things that you do when you write about food is research your ingredients.
It’s fun to learn about the food you eat, and sometimes, you find out something that rocks your world.
That’s what happened when I researched cottage ham.
I found out that outside of the Cincinnati area even butchers don’t know the term.
Apparently it’s a local term that no one really knows the origin of.
This explains why my uncle, who lived all over the country, asked my mom to bring him cottage hams when she visited because he could never find, no matter where they lived.
What is a cottage ham?
Cottage ham, sometimes called cottage butt, is neither a ham nor is it from that area of the pig.
It’s actually part of the pork shoulder and has a very specific curing process.
Of course being from a city that was called Porkopolis at one time, it’s not really a surprise that we would have some pork products that people outside the city are unaware of.
Goetta falls into that category.
If you haven’t tried it, you really should because it’s so good.
But back to the cottage ham situation.
The thing I love about this lovely meat is that it packs a lot of flavor in a small package.
1 1/2 to 2 pounds will flavor an entire pot of soup or full slow cooker meal that will serve a lot of people at one sitting or a few people for several meals.
Cottage hams freeze well, and they taste just like ham.
I use them in a number of meals, and you can too, especially if you want to add more vegetables to your diet and still keep a meaty flavor.
10 Cottage Ham Recipes
1. Cottage ham, green beans and potatoes
If you’re from the Midwest or the South, you probably grew up eating this meal.
For me, this is love on a plate.
It used to take hours to make with snapping the beans and stove top cooking.
While I still use snapped beans on occasion, these days I’m more inclined to buy frozen.
Using your Instant Pot, it still tastes like you cooked all day, and it’s ready in a fraction of the time.
Whether you use cottage ham, diced ham or a ham hock, this dinner is a winner for taste and being simple and easy to make.
2. Cottage ham, cabbage and potatoes
One amazing thing about the Cottage ham, green beans and potatoes recipe is its versatility.
You can simply swap out the green beans for a head of cabbage that you cut into bite sized pieces.
You can even buy pre-cut cabbagte slaw mixes for a bit more color and to save even more time.
How cool is that?
3. Cottage ham, kale and potatoes
Version three of this wonderful meal is how I learned to love kale.
Honestly, it’s the only way I truly enjoy eating kale unless it’s hidden in something else.
You can use the flat leaf or curly version and both taste delicious.
I can’t think of a better way to get more greens in your diet and truly enjoy them.
4. Home style bean soup
Cottage ham goes beautifully in soup.
Because of its smoky flavor, you can use less and still get the flavor you want.
Almost any soup that called for diced ham works with cottage ham as well.
The great part about cottage ham in soup, especially when you use your Instant pot, is that you have that all day flavor in less than an hour.
You have to love a meal that’s so easy to fix that gives you such comfort too.
5. Spanish bean soup
This is a newer recipe in my repertoire, but one I love.
In my culinary world, chick peas/garbanzo beans are not a common ingredient.
This brings a new taste and texture to the table, and as long as your season it properly, a new comfort food.
The first time I made this soup, I went heavy on the seasoning and made it so spicy I couldn’t eat it.
I tend to be conservative with new spices, but I wasn’t here.
Lesson learned for sure.
6. Cheesy ham and corn chowder
This delicious soup is a combination of ingenuity and being incredibly tired of eating leftovers.
While it originated from that, it’s become a soup I make year round, and using cottage ham, makes it easy and flavorful.
It still tastes best when I used the leftover potatoes from cheesy potatoes.
When I’m in a hurry, though, and don’t have leftovers, I use canned potatoes and add cheese as needed.
You could even add cottage ham to to the cheesy potato recipe and have two meals planned and mostly cooked at one time.
7. Cottage ham and pinto beans
I know not everyone has or wants an Instant Pot.
Some people prefer the slow cooker method, and this recipe can easily work either way.
I also think that cooking should be fun and cooking in this adorable slow cooker is perfect for making a half batch of cottage ham and pinto beans.
If you prefer the larger batch, I suggest a larger slow cooker like this one.
Whichever way you choose to make it, pintos beans are a southern comfort food that many northerners have embraced fully.
Served with cornbread, you can eat it as a side with other favorite foods or have a bowl of them as a meal.
These are bpa free and can make a difference between loving and hating your slow cooker.
8. Pea soup
I know this soup is a love or hate thing.
I happen to love pea soup especially when it has cottage ham in it.
My recipe is chock full of veggies and a pinch of cayenne to make it flavorful and interesting.
If you like your soups meaty with lots of flavor, this one might just become a new favorite.
9. Leftover breakfast reboot
Fun fact about me is that I love to re-purpose leftovers.
That’s how I came up with Cheesy Ham and Corn Chowder.
So I found it hilarious when comedian Jo Koy said Filipino breakfast was simply last night’s leftovers with an egg on top because that’s exactly what I do with a few of these recipes.
No, I don’t put an egg in the Cheesy Ham and Corn Chowder or the any of the soups, but I definitely do that with the green beans, cabbage and kale with cottage ham recipes.
I also love to eat soup for breakfast, especially in the winter.
I figure if we can eat breakfast for dinner, why not eat dinner for breakfast?
In the end, eating what we love make us happier human beings, and I hope these recipes do exactly that for you.