When I was a child ham salad sandwiches were a frequent menu item at home and at school. Perhaps it was a regional thing in western PA but today ham salad that I have been able to find outside of that region isn’t particularly good. At one time a neighborhood store in Johnstown, PA, named Helsel’s®, had a secret recipe that they simply would not share with anyone. People tried to duplicate it but typically failed.
I thought their ham salad was okay but not that great. Anyway, I eventually decided as an adult to make it myself and thus please myself. This recipe of mine below has been taste tested by a lot of people and it is popular. It is also simple. I like my ham salad on soft plain white bread.
Ingredients: (You can vary the amounts of all the ingredients to please yourself)
1 lb. of ham pieces from cold baked ham leftovers
1 cup of Hellman’s® mayonnaise
3/4 cup of sweet relish
Use a meat grinder or meat grinder attachment on an electric mixer to process the ham after removing all external fat. Put the ground ham into a one quart bowl.
Add the mayonnaise and mix thoroughly with a fork. Then add the relish and again mix thoroughly.
There! Wasn’t that easy?
Use the bread of your choice and slather the ham salad on it about 1/3 to ½ inch thick.
Refrigerate the remaining ham salad in a one quart Ziploc® freezer bag, pressing the air out before sealing it, if you plan to eat the ham salad within two to three days. Otherwise, use your vacuum sealer and then refrigerate it for up to a week. In general, products like this one that contain meat and mayonnaise should be used rather than stored for any length of time, due to the risk of spoilage.