Very Cheery Cherry Ham Steaks

Cheery Cherry han steaj

Cherries are IN – and how wonderful they are! I can’t get enough of them and keep searching for new ways to use them, cooked or raw.

As I’ve said before, pitting them can be a bit time consuming but goes much faster with a cherry pitter gadget (BTW, also useful for pitting small olives) so get one if you don’t have one already.

If you absolutely refuse to pit cherries (and don’t mind biting into the pits and breaking a tooth!), use whole ones! Or, as a poor substitute, seedless red grapes – but it’s just not the same! So, get cheery with cherries!

Very Cheery Cherry Ham Steaks

  • 2 ham steaks, about 14 oz. each (low sodium if possible)
  • 1 8 oz. can of cherry cola
  • 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 c pitted red cherries, cut in half

Coat a large skillet with cooking spray and place of medium high heat. If your skillet is large enough for both ham steaks without crowding, do so.Cook the uncut steaks 2 minutes per side. If not, cut the ham steaks in half and cook 2 for about 2 minutes per side and place on platter; re-spray (off the stove!) if necessary and cook the other 2 pieces about 2 minutes per side. Add to platter and cover to keep warm.

To the same skillet, carefully add the soda, Worcestershire and vinegar, scraping up all the brown bits at the bottom. Boil over high heat about 3 to 5 minutes until reduced to about 1/4 cup and a little syrupy.

Reduce heat to low and add mustard, black pepper and tomato paste. Stir until smooth. Return the ham steaks to the pan with any juices; add halved cherries and cook, turning ham steaks and cherries over until all are  well coated with sauce and heated through.

Serve with jasmine rice or mashed potatoes to scoop up all that flavorful sauce.

Serves 4

Toque

Tip from the Toque:  On a cookie sheet, spoon 1 Tbsp. spoonfuls of tomato paste leaving 1/2″ around each one. Freeze until solid then place in plastic bag or storage container for future use.

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