This is my notion of comfort food at its finest: an old family recipe, not-so-good-for-you ingredients, and something that I crave approximately once a year, usually always during the winter. This past weekend the craving set in, after not having these since last January. The recipe for these sandwiches comes from a family member on my mom’s side, Sara, although I am unsure of how we are related. My mom just always referred to these as “Sara’s Ham BBQ Sandwiches”; she made them fairly frequently when we were kids, but then they disappeared out of her rotation. Last winter they suddenly popped into my head and I immediately had to have them, so I had my mom dig out the recipe. The craving was instantly satisfied and I was taken back to my childhood. They’re great for a Saturday or Sunday lunch, and especially good when you’re sitting down to watch sports, which might be why I’m always craving them smack dab in the middle of hockey season, right near the Super Bowl. My inner foodie/sports intuition at work, for sure ;-)
Now, “chipped ham” is a very Pittsburgh thing, but I have found that in other areas of the country it is known as “chopped ham” or “chip-chop ham”. Basically, it’s deli ham meat that is almost shaved it’s so thin and in pieces. I usually always give it another coarse chop when I get it home since this sandwich is best when all of the pieces (ham, egg, and cheese) are cut into smaller, uniform pieces.
These are easy to throw together, which makes them perfect for serving a hungry crowd. Just mix together the sandwich ingredients, assemble them on the buns, wrap each one in foil and pop in the oven for 30 minutes. They come out warm, gooey thanks to the melted cheese, and with the buns having just a touch of crunch. They would be great for the Super Bowl, or any time you’re having some friends over and want something warm, but easy and casual.
Do you have any old favorite family recipes like this one? Maybe not the best for you, but one you crave every once and a great while?
In a large bowl mix together the chipped ham, eggs, cheese, and chili sauce, ensuring that the sauce evenly coats all of the other ingredients.
Divide the chipped ham mixture evenly between all of the buns. Wrap each one in foil, place on a tray and bake in the oven for 30 minutes, until hot in the middle and the cheese is melted. Serve with your favorite chips.