In Pittsburgh, We Eat Chipped Chopped Ham Sammiches on Steelers Sunday
Last year, a minor debate took place here at Boring Pittsburgh. Is it chipped chopped ham or chip chop ham? Is it chipped ham or chopped ham? And the bigger question…
Why does it even matter? Yinz don’t live in Pittsburgh anymore and Isaly’s doesn’t have a market in Missouri. So you can’t have a chip chop ham sammitch anyway.
I’ll tell you WHY it matters. Because it is football season. And you can’t seriously enjoy Ben & Troy without wiping sauce from your beard with your Terrible Towel (not to mention the Arn City from your mullet).
Well, I can’t help you with the Arn City, but I do have some suggestions for your Chip Chop Ham Sammitch dilemma.
A true chip chop ham sammitch is made with Isaly’s Original Flavor Barbecue Sauce and Isaly’s Chipped Chopped Ham.
From the label on my jar of Isaly’s Original Barbecue Sauce:
Combine one 16 oz jar Isaly’s Original Flavor Barbecue Sauce with 1 1/3 lb Isaly’s Chipped Chopped Ham. Heat in sauce pan or microwave. Serve on sandwich bun topped with pickle, relish and/or shredded cheese.
Oh mah gersh, what if your local market doesn’t carry Isaly’s and you just gotta have some tonight? Here are a couple recipes you may want to try.
This one is tasty, but not exactly Isaly’s tasty.
Ham Barbeque – from the Teutonia Kochbuch ©1995, Teutonia Mannerchor, Pittsburgh PA
- ¼ C chopped onion
- 1 chopped green pepper
- 4 tsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp brown mustard
- ½ C Heinz chili sauce
- 3 tbsp vinegar
- ½ C water
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 lb chipped ham
Fry onion & pepper with a little butter, then add next 6 ingredients. Boil for 15 minutes. Add ham and simmer 20 to 25 minutes. Serves 6 (note, I do not let the ham cook that long)
This next sauce recipe was originally in an old Good Housekeeping cookbook. I have tweaked it to be as close to Isaly’s as I can get.
Chip Chop Ham Sammitches
- 1 ½ lb chipped chopped ham
- 1/3 C finely chopped onion
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 C Heinz Ketchup
- 1/3 C Heinz vinegar
- ½ C water
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tsp prepared mustard
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
Saute onions in butter until translucent. Add remaining ingredients, simmer 10 minutes. Gently stir in ham, simmer another 5 minutes.
Now, let’s get back to the original debate. It is “chipped chopped ham”. Period. How do I know this? I looked it up on Wikipedia, of course. I thought whudda deez jag offs know, so I checked the online Curnaygee Liberry. Guess what… they said Wikipedia is correct. They have some other interesting info there.
So let’s say you ask for chipped chopped ham at your local market, the kid at your deli counter will tug his ear gauges and stare at you blankly. Ask him for “chopped ham loaf” or “processed ham loaf” – shaved so very thinly that you can read the newspaper through it (that’s what “chipped” means). If they don’t have chopped ham loaf, you can make do with ham, but it just isn’t the same.