Tender Juicy Fresh Ham Steak Stew (Pressure Cooker or Crock Pot Style)
Serves 2-4 (2 with leftovers, 4 with a hearty side dish)
1 Fresh Ham Steak (2-3 lbs bone in)
2-3 Garlic Cloves (finely chopped)
1 Quart Salt Water (1/4 cup salt dissolved in water)
1-2 Teaspoons Herbs (total) – Thyme, Rosemary, Oregano, Sage, Basil…any combination works
1/2 Onion – Quartered
2-4 Large Potatoes – Quartered (My favorite is Yukon Gold)
2 Large Carrots (chunked)
2 Cups Bone Broth (or Chicken Stock)
White or Black Pepper to taste
First brine the ham steak in the salt water. Dissolve salt in water. Place ham steak in an oblong dish. Pour salt water over steak until covered. Add chopped garlic over top. Let that sit from 1 hour to overnight depending how much time you have and how much salt flavor you want in your meat. (This is part of the tenderizing process).
When you’re ready to cook the meat, remove it from the brine and pat dry. Strain the brine and add the chopped garlic to the pot you’re going to cook your stew in. Rub the herbs and pepper on the both sides of the meat. Heat a pan (can use your pressure cooker) with oil (I save bacon and other fat for sauteeing, but you can use olive oil), and brown the meat on all sides. Once browned, place the meat in your crock pot or pressure cooker. Add the bone broth (or stock), potatoes, carrots, onions, and green beans. I like to make sure the green beans are last and stay on top of everything away from the liquid.
If you’re using a Pressure Cooker (mine is an electric Instant Pot which I love!), set the cooker to Meat/Stew and High for 60 minutes. (Note: you could probably get away with 40 minutes and then let it naturally release the steam, but I do the longer time and release the steam manually and it always comes out crazy tender! It “feels” like I’m waiting less time 😉 )
If you’re using a crock pot, put everything in the pot in the same order as above and then use the setting for High temp for 4 hours and then Low temp for 2 hours. I love crock pot dishes, but I rarely have myself organized to get it all together in the morning as I’m more focused on farm chores at that time of day.
When time is up, remove the lid (carefully if pressure cooking) and remove veggies and meat to a platter (your ham steak will be fall apart tender at this point, so you’ll likely need a slotted spoon for this task.) If you prefer a really thick sauce, you can remove the liquid and cook it down and create a thickened sauce with either a roux (flour, butter, liquid from stew) or tapioca starch (or corn starch). I myself like the broth just the way it is out of the pot.
Serve in bowls with sauce and enjoy! Who says fresh ham steak can’t be good?! 😉