Country Ham and Red-Eye Gravy

Whether you're using pre-packaged ham steak from the supermarket or slicing from your own Smithfield product, this classic treatment of ham has been a favorite for generations. From Cheryl Hill-Burrier's coffee article Wanna Fork with that Coffee?

  • 1 1-pound country ham slice, about 1/2-inch thick
  • 1/2 cup strong brewed coffee
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil (optional)
  1. Heat ham slice in a small skillet or sauté pan over low or medium-low heat for 3 or 4 minutes per side, turning to evenly cook. Cooking over low heat will allow you to render the ham juice needed to make the gravy. Once cooked, remove the ham and set aside.
  2. Add the coffee to the skillet and turn the heat up just a bit and stir constantly, scraping up the browned bits from the pan. Continue stirring for about 2 minutes. This gravy has no thickening ingredients, so it's very thin.
  3. Ham and gravy are best served with eggs and biscuits.
  4. Makes 1 to 2 servings.

Note: A true country ham is salt cured and often must be soaked in several changes of water before preparing. If the recipe is too salty, you can remedy this by adding a teaspoon of sugar. If the ham is too dry to produce pan juices after frying, add about 3 tablespoons vegetable oil before adding the coffee.

Ready in: 35 Min

Recipe editor Patricia Mitchell