What To Do With Leftover Ham Skin? The Key Facts

The holiday season is a time for indulgence, and what better way to indulge than with a succulent ham?

But what happens to the leftover ham skin, also known as the rind? Many people simply discard it, not realizing the delicious potential it holds.

In this article, we’ll explore some creative ways to use up that leftover ham skin and turn it into a tasty treat. From crispy snacks to flavorful additions to your favorite dishes, you’ll be amazed at what you can do with this often-overlooked part of the pig.

So, let’s dive in and discover the possibilities of leftover ham skin!

What To Do With Leftover Ham Skin?

1. Make Crispy Ham Skin Snacks

One of the easiest and most delicious ways to use up leftover ham skin is to turn it into crispy snacks. Simply place the skin on a sheet pan, sprinkle with salt, and bake in the oven until nice and crispy. This usually takes about three hours. The result is a crunchy, salty snack that’s perfect for munching on while watching TV or entertaining guests.

2. Use It As A Flavorful Addition To Soups And Stews

Another great way to use up leftover ham skin is to add it to soups and stews. The skin adds a rich, smoky flavor to the dish and helps to thicken the broth. Simply simmer the skin in the soup or stew for a few hours, then remove it before serving.

3. Make Ham Stock

If you have a lot of leftover ham skin, you can use it to make ham stock. This flavorful broth can be used as a base for soups, stews, and sauces. Simply simmer the skin in water with some vegetables and herbs for a few hours, then strain the liquid and discard the solids.

4. Add It To Beans And Rice

Ham skin is also a great addition to beans and rice dishes. Simply chop it up into small pieces and add it to the pot while cooking. The skin adds a smoky flavor and helps to thicken the sauce.

5. Use It As A Topping For Pizza

For a unique twist on pizza toppings, try adding chopped up ham skin to your next pie. The crispy texture and rich flavor make it a perfect addition to any pizza.

Crispy Ham Skin Snacks

If you’re looking for a simple and delicious way to use up leftover ham skin, look no further than crispy ham skin snacks. This crunchy and salty snack is easy to make and perfect for snacking on while watching TV or entertaining guests.

To make crispy ham skin snacks, preheat your oven to 300 degrees F (149 degrees C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. If the pork skin has lard attached to it, carefully cut off the lard, being careful not to cut through the skin. Cut the pork skin into small rectangles, about 1 inch by 2 inches, and arrange them in a single layer on the baking sheet with the fat side down. Season with sea salt and bake for 1 to 2 hours, until dried, crispy, and golden.

Once the ham skin is cooked, remove it from the pan and drain on paper towels. You can enjoy the ham skin snacks right away, but they are even better if you deep fry them. In a large saucepan or dutch oven, heat 1.5-2 inches of avocado oil to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C). Add the dried pork skins to the oil in small batches and cook for 1-3 minutes until they puff up. Remove immediately with a slotted spoon or tongs and drain on paper towels again.

For an extra kick of flavor, you can also toss the pork rinds in seasoning immediately after frying. With just a few simple steps, you can turn leftover ham skin into a delicious snack that’s sure to be a hit with your family and friends.

Flavorful Broths And Stocks

One of the best ways to use up leftover ham skin is to make flavorful broths and stocks. These can be used as a base for soups, stews, and sauces, and they add a rich, smoky flavor to any dish. Here are a few tips for making flavorful broths and stocks with leftover ham skin:

1. Save the scraps: Save any scraps of ham skin in the freezer until you have enough to make a stock. You can also freeze scraps of celery, onion, and carrots if you’d like.

2. Use a large pot: Use the largest soup pot you have for making stock. Put the ham skin into the pot along with pieces of onion, celery, and carrots, and fill the pot with water.

3. Don’t add salt: You can add some coarse ground pepper or a few peppercorns, but DO NOT ADD SALT! The ham skin is already salty enough.

4. Simmer for hours: Turn the pot on to the lowest possible simmer and let the stock cook for 6-8 hours, adding a cup or two of water about once an hour. After 6-8 hours, remove the ham skin with a slotted spoon or large spoon and discard.

5. Add flavor: If the flavor is not as strong as you’d like, turn the heat to medium and boil gently for 30 minutes or more until some of the water is boiled away. You can also use a ham flavor base to make the stock more intensely ham flavored.

6. Skim off scum: If you have a fine mesh stock skimmer, that’s a good way to skim off any scum that rises to the top while the stock is cooking.

7. Strain and store: When the stock has concentrated enough to have a rich ham flavor, strain again, using the finest strainer you have. Freeze the stock in 2 cup or 4 cup containers so you know exactly how much you have when thawing it for a recipe. Label stock with the type and date. Stock can be stored frozen for 6-12 months.

By following these steps, you can make a delicious and flavorful broth or stock using leftover ham skin that would otherwise go to waste.

Ham Skin Powder For Seasoning

If you’re looking for a way to use up leftover ham skin in a unique and flavorful way, consider turning it into a powder for seasoning. This is a great way to add a smoky, salty flavor to a variety of dishes. Here’s how to do it:

1. Preheat your oven to 200°F.

2. Arrange the ham skin in a single layer on a large baking sheet or cookie sheet and bake until dried and crisp, about 1 hour.

3. Let the ham skin cool completely.

4. In a mini food processor or a spice grinder, grind the ham skin to a fine powder.

5. Season with a pinch of salt.

Once you have your ham skin powder, you can use it to season meats, vegetables, soups, and more. It adds a delicious smoky flavor that’s perfect for barbecue seasonings, rubs, and marinades. You can also sprinkle it over roasted vegetables or use it to flavor mashed potatoes or other side dishes. Get creative and experiment with different ways to use this flavorful powder in your cooking.

Ham Skin As A Meat Tenderizer

Did you know that ham skin can also be used as a meat tenderizer? The process involves soaking the ham skin in water and then using the resulting liquid to tenderize tougher cuts of meat. Here’s how:

1. Remove any excess fat from the ham skin and cut it into small pieces.

2. Place the ham skin in a large pot and cover with cold water.

3. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce heat and let it simmer for several hours.

4. Strain the liquid and discard the solids.

5. Use the resulting liquid as a meat tenderizer by marinating tougher cuts of meat in it for several hours before cooking.

The ham skin contains collagen, which breaks down into gelatin when simmered in water. This gelatin is a natural meat tenderizer that helps to break down the tough fibers in meat, making it more tender and juicy. So don’t throw away that leftover ham skin – use it to make your meat dishes more delicious!

Ham Skin In Soups And Stews

When it comes to using leftover ham skin in soups and stews, the possibilities are endless. The skin adds a deep, smoky flavor to the dish and helps to thicken the broth. One popular way to use ham skin in soups and stews is to simmer it in the dish for a few hours, then remove it before serving. This allows the skin to infuse the broth with its flavor without making the dish too greasy.

Another option is to chop up the ham skin into small pieces and add it directly to the soup or stew. This will give the dish a more intense flavor and a slightly chewy texture. If you’re using a slow cooker, you can add the skin at the beginning of the cooking process and let it simmer with the other ingredients.

Ham skin is particularly well-suited for use in bean soups and stews. Its rich flavor pairs perfectly with beans, and its natural gelatin helps to thicken the broth. To use ham skin in a bean soup or stew, simply add it to the pot along with the beans and other ingredients. The skin will slowly break down as it cooks, releasing its flavor and thickening the broth.

If you’re making a hearty vegetable soup or stew, ham skin can also be a great addition. Its smoky flavor pairs well with root vegetables like carrots and parsnips, while its gelatin helps to give the dish a rich, velvety texture.