I never bought cold cut ends in my life. I know my mother never did. But there are things you pick up later on in life that sometimes make sense. Your local deli will slice their ham or turkey till it gets too close to the end. Then they have to stop. These hunks of meat are cold cut ends. No different from the slices of cold cuts you buy, just a larger hunk.
The more busy your local deli is, the more cold cut ends they have building up. If you ask your deli man for cold cut ends they will be glad to hunt them down for you. Supermarket delis have plenty. So a pound of Boar’s head turkey breast that normally goes for $7-$8 a pound will now only cost you about $1.99 a pound for the ends. What a bargain! With unemployment over 9% and the economy being what it is, we can all use a little bargain at the supermarket now days.
A friend of mine, Ned, showed this stuff to me. Ned is from North Tonawanda, a town near Buffalo New York. His family is German/French Canadian. Apparently his parents bought cold cut ends and used to make this salad with them all the time. One day Ned showed me some ham ends he just bought and I asked him what was he going to do with them. I would have cut the ham in chunks and made a ham and egg meal out of it. He said his mother used to make ham salad out of it. She used to grind up the ham in a meat grinder or cut it into small cubes and mix it with mayo, celery and some seasoning. He said how great it tasted on a sandwich. Ned never paid much attention to how his Mom made ham salad so he left it to me to come up with a recipe. I never even heard of ham salad before this!
Now, I assure you, there are not many Italians, if any, from Bensonhurst Brooklyn that ever even tasted ham salad….let alone know how to make it. After some questioning and asking Ned if he had any idea what his mother put in it I began experimenting. I think I had the right combination of ingredients that resembled what Ned was describing the way his Mom’s ham salad tasted. Ned even put a call into his sister Marcia, who still lives in North Tonawanda, to see if she knew how their mom made ham salad.
This recipe uses a combination of both ham and turkey to make this luncheon salad. If you don’t have a meat grinder chop up the ham and turkey into the smallest cubes possible. Using a meat grinder gives the salad a consistency of tuna salad. If you prefer more texture you can chop the meat by hand.
Ned’s Deviled Ham and Turkey Salad
- 2 pounds of ham and turkey cold cut ends. (If you can’t get the ends or prefer not to, have your deli slice the meat 1/4 inch thick)
- 1 cup mayo
- 1 tablespoon of brown mustard
- 1 tablespoon of sweet relish
- 2-3 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
- a pinch of cayenne pepper or to taste
- 1 stalk of celery, chopped
- 1/2 of medium onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon of dried rubbed sage
Cut the meat into small pieces in order to fit into the meat grinder. Use the largest die to grind the meat coarse. Once all the meat is ground, or chopped fine by hand, place in a large bowl.
Add the mayo, mustard, sweet relish, Worcestershire sauce, dried sage and cayenne pepper. Mix well. If the salad seems too dry you can add more mayo. Next add the celery and onion and mix well.
Store the salad in an air tight container and chill before serving.