We are done with the hog butchering around here for another year, but I thought I'd talk about it one last time. Some readers have written letters asking for a bit more detail. So here is the step-by-step process for making homemade "pon hoss," a fried dish we make using some of the leftover hog meat.
You start by cooking pork shanks until the meat is tender enough to fall off the bones. We then strain everything to separate the broth, bones and meat.
The bones and meat are dumped onto a table so that we can separate the two. Then we bring the broth to a rolling boil and then add the meat and gradually add four cups of flour to every gallon of broth.
To every gallon we add two tablespoons of salt and one tablespoon of black pepper. When everything is nice and thick and the mixture begins to come to a boil again, pour it into loaf pans until it sets.
After it cools you can slice and fry it until golden brown on both sides. You don't have to add any oil or butter, the pon hoss will make its own grease.
When we do a whole kettle full at home we have too much meat to put in, so we'll use a gallon of meat for pon hoss and the rest will be for our liver pudding.
Mom would fix pon hoss every year that we butchered. It would be a winter dish after we butchered.
The pon hoss tastes like meat. I like mine fried until it is crunchy, but some people will fry it just until golden brown on each side. I like to fry mine hard. Some of our children like it, others don't. For instance, Verena doesn't care for it, but Benjamin loves pon hoss.
This week I will share two of our favorite fresh pork recipes.
1 c. bread crumbs
1 c. milk
1 onion, diced
1/2 t. salt
A large 2-inch thick raw ham steak
Dash of pepper
3 whole cloves
1/4 c. brown sugar
1 c. water
Stir all of the ingredients except for the ham in a medium mixing bowl. Place the ham in a baking dish and pour the mixture over the ham. Bake in a 400˚ oven for three hours.
Pineapple Ham Loaf
1/2 c. milk
1 c. crackers, crushed
1/4 t. pepper
2 to 3 lbs. ground ham, fully cooked
1 lb. ground fresh pork
1 c. brown sugar
1/3 c. vinegar
1 t. mustard
8-oz. can of crushed pineapple
In a large bowl, beat the eggs. Then add milk, cracker crumbs and pepper. Add the ham and pork and mix well. Shape into a loaf. Bake uncovered 1&1/2 hours at 350˚. Then combine the remaining ingredients and pour some over the loaf. Use the rest of the sauce of the sauce for basting frequently.
Lovina Eicher is Old Order Amish. She hand-writes this column from her home in southern Michigan. Anyone with cultural or cooking questions can send them to: Lovina Eicher, The Amish Cook, P.O. Box 2144, Middletown, OH 45042. Read all of her columns online at www.record-eagle.com/amishcook.