by Tammy Taylor
Feral hogs are simply domesticated hogs that escaped from various farmers pens years ago and reproduced in the wild. But in Texas they’re prolific and very damaging to our pastures, able to root huge 2-ft deep holes along very large swaths of pasture overnight. Their damage not only destroys grazing opportunities for our cattle but also causes damage to our equipment. Thankfully I’m married to a talented hunter-husband and he helps reduce their population by harvesting some of these hogs and we have the pork processed locally. Our processor has many options for the pork but one of our favorites is smoked ham. Recently I made ham salad from some of that delicious ham, it’s my Honey’s favorite sandwich spread.
First I pulled out the ingredients needed: The ham slices, red onion and garlic cloves from my garden, dill pickle slices and sweet pickle relish that I preserved from last years garden, and salt / pepper, along with a dollop of mayonnaise for a binder and a small squeeze of mustard for zip.
When I make ham salad I really don’t have any measurements and certainly don’t have a rigid recipe. If we have jalapenos growing in the garden we almost always chop one up and throw it in as well, but I don’t think there’s much of anything we don’t enjoy without an added jalapeno! That’s just the way we roll here on the ranch, but you can use some of the same ingredients you enjoy in your own sandwich spread recipe. If you like boiled eggs in your sandwich spread – add them. If you enjoy bell pepper or celery – go for it. Sour cream or seedless grapes? You betcha. This recipe is fully customizable to your tastes.
The grinder makes short work of the ham slices and in less than two minutes they come out beautifully ground and ready to be made into ham salad.
Then I simply add my other ingredients to our taste. I like to go pretty sparingly on the mayo and add just enough to bind everything together. You can use the same ratio you’d use in your favorite sandwich spreads – some people like to go light on the mayo, and some people like a creamier spread so they use more mayo. Whatever floats your boat works here!
Give it all a quick folding with a large spatula and it’s blended into ham-salad perfection.
I feed good that in making this spread I’m utilizing organic veggies grown and preserved from my own garden, meat harvested from our ranch and a few added condiments to blend it all together – no running to the store for sliced lunch meat. I look at this as a beneficial win/win – fewer wild hogs to damage our pastures and lots of good eating. Hey, that’s just Taylor-Made for us!