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Ham Gratin – Using Up Leftover Ham

January 31, 2014

This is a recipe which my husband introduced me to after we were married.

I had always associated the word “Gratin” with cheese so I was a bit confused when I realized that the sauce was tomato based but evidently “gratin” is to do with the breadcrumb crust over the dish  which can also contain cheese.

We used to make it with ham steaks but in the past few years since we got a food saver we’ve been making a big ham once every 6 months or so and then freezing portions so that we have fresh ham whenever we want it.

Below I’ve outlined the recipe that my husband uses to make his gratin. It can be served over pasta or with any variety of potatoes or rice.


Ingredients: (Serves 2-3)

Cooked Ham
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1 large onion
Cooking sherry
Cracked Black Pepper


First chop the onions and sweat them out until they’re tender with a bit of butter or oil.

If you’re unfamiliar with sweating onions you just put them in a pan on a low/medium heat with some lubrication (butter or oil) and toss them occasionally as they slow cook.


Next toss in a cup of cooking sherry and some cracked black pepper. Typically he will use about a couple teaspoons. I know it seems like a LOT of pepper but it mellows out in the cream sauce and the heat that remains compliments the ham really well.


Then pour in the chopped tomatoes with a teaspoon or two of dried oregano and mix together. Keep the heat on medium to medium high and puree the mixture with a stick blender.

You can also dump it all into a full size blender like my husband does because our stick blender had an unfortunate accident, but if you have the option of using a stick blender you should probably just use it because you run the risk of burning yourself dumping the contents between vessels and you end up with more to wash.


When the mixture is thoroughly blended add in the cream. The amount of cream is really up to you…. more cream will create a richer sauce. He usually pours in roughly 1 cup of cream to 1 tin of tomatoes.

You can also just go by color, the end result should be salmon pink (which the camera doesn’t pick up particularly well).


Lay the ham out in an appropriately sized baking dish in a semi even layer.


Pour the sauce mixture over the top.


Seal it all in with a generous layer of breadcrumbs.

It’s best if you make your own breadcrumbs but he used pre-made ones for this particular gratin because we were both pooped and couldn’t be bothered.


Bake the gratin in a preheated 180c (350f) oven until it browns. You don’t really have to cook any of the contents so you’re just browning the top and heating it through.

It’s probably a good idea to put the baking dish on a sheet pan to catch any sauce that bubbles over.


Serve over pasta or with any variety of potatoes or rice.

Add some garlic bread on the side and enjoy!

From → Main Courses, Recipes

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