This week’s installment of Jensalittleloopy Cooks the Oldies is extra awesome: Pineapple Upside-Down Ham Loaf. It’s a combination of two of my very favorite things: pineapple upside-down cake and ham. Pineapple and ham are rare overlaps of culinary tastes in our household, so I even earned some bonus points!
I found this recipe in The Ground Meat Cookbook, published by the Culinary Arts Institute in Chicago. Mine is Shop-Rite branded, but there a few different versions of this book bouncing around.
MMMMMMMMM. Intriguing meat. I do prefer my meat to be as provocative and arousing as possible.
My Prince a/k/a my husband is pretty demanding. He expects things like edible food that does not contain a) vegetables; b) grains such as quinoa, farro, or any other grain that doesn’t start with rice; or c) spicy spices. All food paths must lead to the land of meat and potatoes.
I am happy to report that ham loaf won this Kitchen Queen a crown!
Before I get into the recipe, can we just talk about this cookbook for a minute?
I swear to god if my kids sat there at the table like this waiting for me to serve dinner. You can almost hear the little boogers pounding their utensils on the table chanting “Dinner. Feed us. Dinner. Feed us.” Don’t be fooled by their angelic smiles — they are little assholes who will grow up to be just like their father, expecting to be handed slippers and a highball when they get home from work. Fuck em. They can get their own dinner, mommy is going out.
OMG? Is that mom cooking in there?!?!
Seriously, why do cookbook illustrators do this? This book is filled with cute animal photos right next to recipes which require them to be ground into bits. How does this sell ground meat exactly?!?
You’re here for the recipe. Trust me, you are soooo going to want to make this! My husband has asked me to make this recipe again which means it gets taped into the cabinet next to the other two recipes for things he absolutely loves (Casserole and Baked Corn Casserole).
Here’s how you artistically arrange those pineapple slices:
We need to talk about ground mustard for a minute. It’s a fairly common spice in a lot of old school recipes, but you don’t see it so much in modern cooking because proper mustard comes out of a squirt bottle. The glaze for this ham loaf is made with ground mustard, vinegar, and brown sugar…so basically you are making your own mustard but exercising greater control over the flavor profile. This totally works here because you don’t taste the vinegar after it cooks. You DO taste the mustard flavor, which is not the mustard flavor you’d be expecting if you are comparing it with that bright yellow stuff, or even some of the stronger whole grain mustards. They are so heavy on the vinegar flavor that the actual mustard flavor gets lost. Anyway, this is my ode to ground mustard, which is now a new favorite of mine and I am looking forward to playing around with it more.
Here’s a quick photo tutorial for easy radish roses. I was shooting for fast, but if you want to spend the time you can fall right down the rabbit hole with vegetable carving. 😉 For these you basically just cut a little star shape around the outside edges of the radishes (slice about 3/4 of the way through the radish), and then pop them into a bowl of ice water so they open up a bit. You can eat the ones you screw up.
This recipe is a total keeper! Because of the amount of liquid that drains from the meat, the glaze isn’t truly a glaze that gets caramelized. If you are looking for a caramelized glaze, I would recommend placing the pineapples and glaze on top of the loaf about 20-25 minutes before it’s done cooking.
If you are lucky enough to have leftovers, take a thick slice of ham loaf and heat it in a frying pan until it’s nice and crispy on the outside, put it on a kaiser roll, and top it with a slice or two of cheddar and some spicy mustard. HEAVEN!