Uncanned Ham

I was inspired to start experimenting with this paleo-friendly version Of SPAM (yep, that's right) thanks to a photo The Domestic Man posted on Instagram of the real thing. I live very near where SPAM is made and grew up loving my Grandma's SPAM hotdish--I suddenly had to have some and even purchased a larger food processor just to work on this recipe! It's wonderful sliced and served warm right out of the oven, fried up and served like a burger or with breakfast fare, or even cold as a snack or meal (my youngest son takes it to school in his lunch). While there are several steps in this version, it's actually the quicker of two versions I've been working on and takes some help from fully cooked ham.
1 hour and 15 minutes
1 hour
Show nutritional information
This is our estimate based on online research.
Fat:24 g
Carbohydrates:5 g
Protein:22 g
Calculated per serving.

Serves: 6

Serves: 6decrease servingsincrease servings


  • 1.5 lb 1.5 lb Ground Pork
  • 4 oz 4 oz Ham, fully cooked, such as Applegate Naturals Uncured Slow Cooked Ham
  • 4 cup 4 cup Water, boiling, for water bath
  • 3 Tbsp 3 Tbsp Tapioca Starch, arrowroot, or potato starch
  • 2 tsp 2 tsp Himalayan Pink Salt, fine (or any fine salt)
  • 2 tsp 2 tsp Coconut Sugar, honey, or maple syrup


Note, these instructions are written assuming the standard serving size, since you have modified the number of servings, these steps may need to be modified for best results
  1. Process ham and 1/4 cup water in food processor until ham is finely ground.
  2. Add ground pork, remaining 1/2 cup water, salt, sugar and starch to processor and process until a smooth paste is formed. Scrape down sides and stir as necessary. If your processor is small, process in batches and then mix by hand in a bowl to ensure all ingredients are evenly distributed throughout the mixture.
  3. Transfer mixture to a bowl and place in refrigerator for at least one hour. Even overnight is fine, the refrigeration just makes it much easier to work with.
  4. Press mixture tightly into a 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pan with the back of a spoon, working in layers and compacting each layer very well.
  5. Cover loaf pan tightly with foil and place in a 9 x 13 or similarly sized baking dish. Pour boiling water into the baking dish, enough to go halfway up the side of the loaf pan. Cover baking dish tightly with foil and bake at 400 degrees F for 50-60 minutes. Meat should be firm and cooked through, and juices should run clear. If youu2019re using an internal thermometer, temperature should read 160 degrees F.
  6. Carefully remove loaf pan from water bath and foil from loaf pan (watch for escaping steam!); let sit for 10 minutes.
  7. Tilt loaf pan to pour off fat from one of the corners. Invert meat onto a platter; slice and serve or allow to cool, wrap tightly in foil or parchment paper and refrigerate.


The starch is essential for moisture retention, especially if you plan to fry or otherwise cook the meat a second time. While you may be able to omit it if you plan to serve it right away or it eat cold, it will change the texture somewhat, and you may need to shorten the cooking time since the meat will retain less moisture.

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