I have to admit, when growing up I would willingly partake in canned meat consumption. The big three were potted meat, Vienna sausages and of course spam. I enjoyed eating all three, but my favorite was spam because of its versatility. You can eat it cold, hot, fried, in soups, stews, sandwiches and sushi.
When you look at the ingredient list on a can of spam, it actually isn't this crazy modified meat product that folks lead it on to be. The exact ingredient list from the can are (pork with ham, salt, water, modified potato starch, sugar, sodium nitrite). So you can feel a little bit better about yourself for eating it.
I'm putting my own spin on the ingredient contents. Why you ask? I just can't bring myself to make a canned meat recipe exactly the same as the manufacturer. Especially when you can go buy it from the store for dirt cheap.
Here I use a little smoked slab bacon to add a delicious tangy smoky flavor and so that you don't need to purchase curing salt, being that it's already in most bacon. The curing salt would just be for flavor and color in this recipe. I swap out the sugar for sorghum, but you can stick with the sugar if you like.
I also add some fresh cracked black pepper to kick things up a notch. If you don't want to see black flakes in your prized meat treat, you can use ground white pepper in its place.
Yield: About 4 pounds
Prep Time: 45 Minutes
Cook Time: Between 1 hour and 2 hours depending on your cooking vessel
Meat Grinder (I use an LEM #8 Big Bite Grinder)
Terrine Mold or meatloaf pan or bread loaf baking pan.
Deep baking pan to use for a water bath.
2 1/2 pounds pork shoulder, cut into 1" pieces
8 oz smoked slab or thick cut bacon, cut into 1" pieces
1 pound smoked deli ham, 1" inch dice
2 tablespoons sorghum (you can use sugar)
3 tablespoons potato starch (you can use corn starch)
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup chilled water
Chill your grinder attachments in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.
Pre-heat your oven to 300 degrees F.
In a large bowl that you intend to grind the meat into, add the water, sorghum, potato starch, salt and pepper. Whisk vigorously until the sorghum has dissolved. Transfer to a smaller vessel and place in your refrigerator to chill.
Grind all of the meats through a large grinding plate into a large bowl. Pour in the chilled liquid and mix thoroughly using a sturdy spoon. You can also mix this in a stand mixture. Just make sure you work fast to keep everything cold.
Place the spam mixture into a terrine mold, meatloaf pan or bread-loaf baking pan. Press down on the meat to ensure all of the air pockets are removed. Cover the meat filled pan with aluminum foil or the lid that it came with.
Place the meat filled pan into a large baking dish. Place this in the center of your oven. Working very carefully, add water to the baking dish. You want the water to come up at least half way of your meat filled pan. This water bath will help protect your spam while cooking.
Bake at 300 degrees F until the internal temperature reaches 150 F degrees on a food thermometer. This can take 1 to 2 hours depending on your vessel.
Remove from the oven and take the spam pan out of the water bath. Let the spam cool at room temperature for 1 hour while in the pan.
Place the pan in the refrigerator and set a cookie pan or sheet pan on top. Place some canned food (or other item you don't mind going into the fridge) on top of the pan. The will compress the spam while it chills, giving you 1 solid mass of meat that makes for great slicing.
Refrigerate over night.