Apparently, ham barbecue sandwiches are a Pittsburgh thing… I was describing them to my buddy, who is from St. Louis, and he had a blank stare on his face. So, I thought I’d share the recipe for one of my favorite (and probably the most easy to prepare) meals in existence… courtesy of my childhood in Pittsburgh.
1 lb chopped ham from the deli at the supermarket, shaved into as thin of a slice as possible. You’ll probably have to ask for “chopped ham” by name at the counter. asked for chipped or shaved slices (basically paper thin slices). If there’s no chopped ham, just get regular ham, sliced as thin as possible.
1/2 to 1 cup Heinz ketchup. If you use some other ketchup that is not Heinz, then you are a terrible person.
1/2 to 1 cup of your favorite bbq sauce… we like Sweet Baby Ray’s.
Four or five turns of the black pepper mill.
1 bottle of Coke, Dr. Pepper, or Dr. Pepper Cherry, your choice. But I like Dr. Pepper Cherry.
Combine the ham, ketchup, and bbq sauce in a medium sauce pan. Add four or five grinds of black pepper. Stir until ingredients are combined and add a few splashes of the soda (probably 1/2 cup total) to loosen up and thin the sauce so all the ham slices break apart from each other. Cover the pot and heat on medium until boiling, stirring occasionally, then turn down to low and let simmer for about 1/2 hour, keeping the pot covered and stirring every once in a while… or there’ll be little red splatters around the kitchen.
To serve, slop some up on some hamburger buns, and you’re good to go. I like mine with a slice of yellow american cheese.
Once you get the recipe down, feel free to personalize. I’ve heard of adding chopped onion and a few squirts of yellow mustard. I came up with the soda addition. Others adds a squirt of honey or brown sugar to really sweeten them up… it’s really up to you, but these are a Pittsburgh classic!