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Cheesy Ham Chowder/Homemade Ham Stock

Homemade Ham Stock 

2 lb. meaty smoked ham shank

Cold water

1 medium onion, chopped

2 carrots, cut into chunks

2 celery ribs, cut into chunks

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 bay leaf

2 teaspoons dried thyme

¼ teaspoon pepper 

Add ham shanks to a 5 quart slow cooker and cover with cold water.  Add remaining ingredients and cook on high 4-5 hours.  Pour stock through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl, reserving shanks and discarding remaining solids.  Discard skin from shank.  Trim and coarsely shred meat from shank, then return to stock.  Refrigerate for several hours, then skim off and discard excess fat.  

Cheesy Ham Chowder 

10 strips bacon

1 large onion, chopped

1 cup diced carrots

3 stalks celery, diced

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

3 cups milk

1 ½ cups ham stock

2 ½ cups cubed potatoes

1 (15 ¼ oz.) can whole kernel corn, drained or 1 cup frozen corn

Pepper to taste

3 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1 cup cooked ham, cubed 

In a large stock pot, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp.  Using a slotted spoon, remove to paper towels to drain.  In the drippings, saute onion, carrots and celery until tender.  Stir in flour until blended.  Gradually add milk and ham stock.  Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.  Add potatoes, corn, and pepper.  Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.  Add cheese and ham; heat until cheese is melted.  Stir in half the bacon.  Ladle into bowls and top with some of the remaining bacon.  Serve. 

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