You need to try this pulled ham and put it in tacos, burgers, salads, sandwiches, quiches, sliders, fried rice and quesadillas right now. I could go on.
This slow cooked then shredded ham is incredibly simple to make but the best part is the amazing sweet and savoury flavour. Sticky, caramelised and salty, it’s truly a crowd pleaser and great for celebrations like Christmas and Easter.
- So quick and easy to prepare.
- Cooks while you get on with your day.
- Sweet and sticky yet salty and savoury.
- Versatile – there’s so many ways to use it.
- Feeds a crowd.
- Can be made ahead.
Try this BBQ pulled pork too.
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What is pulled ham?
Pulled ham (aka shredded ham) is ham that’s been cooked low and slow until the meat is literally falling apart and tender. The meat is shredded using two forks (or an electric beater or mixer) and is able to be used in so many ways.
Most ham already comes pre-cooked and smoked so it can be eaten as is, however it’s perfect for glazing and eating hot. This pulled ham is like a glazed ham that’s fall apart tender!
Ingredients you’ll need
Detailed quantities and instructions in the recipe card below.
Just 5 ingredients are all you need – the ham and 4 flavourings that make up the sweet, sticky sauce.
Start by getting a ham that will fit into your slow cooker (worst case scenario, you can cut your ham into smaller pieces to make it fit). Bone in is good for added flavour but not entirely necessary. I find a 2kg him fits into my 6 litre (6 quart) cooker.
The sauce which turns into an amazingly sticky ham glaze starts with plum jam then to amp up the savouriness, we add Worcestershire sauce, wholegrain mustard and garlic and let me tell you this plum glaze is heavenly. It starts out quite sweet and, as it cooks, it gets thicker and caramelised and also takes on some saltiness from the ham. So, so good.
Worcestershire really does have a flavour all of it’s own but if you’d like to swap it, use a combination of 1 teaspoon of soy sauce and 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar. The wholegrain mustard can be swapped for Dijon mustard or dry mustard. You can also add some spices like a little pepper, star anise or whole cloves to the slow cooker.
How to make pulled ham (step-by-step)
This recipe is incredibly easy to make and best part, you get to go on about your day while your house fills with the most tempting aroma.
Detailed quantities and instructions in the recipe card below.
- Remove the skin: You should be able to easily push your fingers between the skin and the meat and peel it away. If there’s a bone, just use a knife to score a line around the bone and then you’ll be able to peel it all away, just leaving a small portion on the bone end.
- Make the plum glaze: Combine the glaze ingredients in a saucepan and mix well. Bring it to a boil over medium heat then take off the heat.
- Slow cook the ham: Place the ham into your slow cooker and pour the glaze over the top. Cook on low for 5-6 hours until the meat is tender and falling apart. Every hour or so, give the ham a baste with the glaze from the bottom of the dish.
- Shred and serve: Transfer the ham to a large chopping board and turn the slow cooker off. Use two forks to shred the meat (or you can use an electric beater or stand mixer to do all the work). Pour over ½ a cup or up to all of the plum glaze from the slow cooker but taste test first.
Tips and tricks
Taste the glaze. When you’ve shredded the ham, some or all of that remaining glaze gets poured over and tossed all through to coat the ham. How much you use will be determined by how salty it is. If your ham is particularly salty, the glaze will take on a lot of that salt so start by adding ½ a cup, taste, then add more if you like.
Can I cook this pulled ham in an oven?
Yes, you can cook this delicious ham in the oven too. Simply place the ham and sauce into a roasting pan and cover with foil. Preheat the oven to 100C / 210F and bake for 6 hours or until pulling apart easily. Make sure to baste it with the glaze from the bottom of the pan every so often and if it looks like the sauce is burning, add a little water.
How to serve pulled ham
From ham sandwiches to fried rice, this is such a versatile recipe and you can really serve it as you would a regular ham.
- Burgers, sandwiches or sliders with some coleslaw and pickles.
- In a grilled cheese sandwich. You can try my mini grilled cheese on a bigger scale.
- In tacos.
- Turn it into breakfast hash with some fried potatoes and onion.
- Use it in fried rice.
- As a filling for quiche (try it with par-cooked potato cubes and cheese, yum).
- Serve with a simple salad.
- Quesadillas. Similar to the grilled cheese idea, add some corn and cheese and fry until the cheese is gooey.
- With potato salad.
- Stir through pasta salad.
- Add it to a creamy potato soup or chowder.
- On pizza – add it with chicken and pineapple for a great tropical flavoured pizza.
- Inside pizza scrolls.
- Stuff it into croquettes.
The list seriously goes on. I’d love to hear your ideas too. Make it and tell me how you served your pulled ham.
Yield and storage
This pulled ham recipe easily feeds 10-12.
The cooked and shredded ham will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days in an airtight container. It can also be frozen but it’s best to freeze it in portions. If you freeze it in one lot, you’ll have to thaw the whole lot at once.
Did you try this slow cooked pulled ham recipe?
Leaving a rating and comment below the recipe is so helpful!
- 2 kg leg of ham (with or without the bone – see notes) (4.4lb)
- 1 cup plum jam (I use Bon Maman 370g jar / 13oz)
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (notes 1)
- 1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard (notes 1)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
For best results, always weigh ingredients where a weight is provided
- Slow cooker (6 litre / 6 quart)
- Small saucepan
- If there is a bone sticking out at the end, using a sharp knife, score the skin around the bone near where the meat starts. Now, push your fingers between the skin and the meat at the edge and carefully peel the skin away.
- In a medium saucepan, over medium-high heat, whisk together the remaining ingredients – plum jam, Worcestershire sauce, mustard and garlic.
- Bring to a boil and cook for a further 30 seconds then remove from the heat.
- Place the ham into the slow cooker dish, cut side down (if it’s too large, you can cut into a couple of pieces. and pour the sauce over the top. Cook for around 5-6 hours, basting every hour or so, until tender and easy to shred.
- Place the ham onto a large chopping board and turn the slow cooker off. Use two forks to shred the ham.
- Place the ham into a large bowl and pour over ½ a cup of the glaze from the slow cooker. Mix well, then taste. Add more sauce to taste. (You can also mix it all directly in the slow cooker dish, just make sure to remove the juices / glaze first so that you're able to add it back to taste. Sometimes a very salty ham will leach a lot of salt into the glaze so you may not want it all).
- Please take a moment to leave a comment & rating. It's appreciated and so helpful.
- Tablespoons: I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon which equals 4 teaspoons. Many other countries use a 15ml tablespoon so check before measuring.
- Ham size: Make sure the ham fits your slow cooker especially if using a bone-in ham.
- Actual cooking time will depend on the size of the ham.
- Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days or frozen (in portions is best) for up to 3 months.
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