Many weeks I will spend the entire week thinking about and planning Sunday’s dinner. I have had a rough week—broken car, broken shower, broken refrigerator—and I did not feel I had it in me to plan an elaborate meal ahead of time. A plain ham steak, steamed green beans, a simple coleslaw, and a baked sweet potato would have to do. While this is a meal that started off simply, I got carried away.
I got into the kitchen and I had sort of a Stone Soup thing going on. Plain ham needs to be topped with something—“Hey, my white peach jam!” A little vinegar, a bit of oil, mustard—to act as an emulsifier for the oil and vinegar—a pinch of pepper, of course. “Not a bad glaze, but wait, I have a fresh peach.” Peeled, sliced, and into the pot it goes. “But what goes with fresh peaches?” Brandy and a little time to for the peaches to soak it up.
My glaze had turned into more of a sauce, but it was still raw. Cooking it in the pot—that I was using to mix it—would mash the peach slices to bits. Broiling the sauce on top of the ham—until it started to caramelize—seemed obvious at this point.
Note: In keeping with the spontaneity of this meal, Jan came up with a chocolate sauce to drizzle over ice cream at the last moment.
Karl’s Ham Steak with Brandied Peach Sauce
1 peach, peeled and cut into slices, pole to pole
1½ lb. ham steak
1. Put all of the ingredients—except the ham—into a bowl and gently mix them together.
Tip: Do not mash the peach slices, but you want the sauce to coat all sides of them.
2. Let the sauce marinate for at least one hour.
Tip: Gently re-toss the peaches to redistribute the sauce.
Note: Do not heat the sauce.
3. Place the ham steak on a aluminum foil lined lipped backing tray.
4. Broil the ham, on high, for 5 minutes to caramelize the meat—the browned bits.
Tip: The Maillard reaction makes almost everything taste better.
5. Flip the steak over and arrange the peach slices over the ham.
6. Spoon the remaining sauce over the peaches.
7. Continue to broil the ham steak, until the peaches are cooked through and the top has started to get a few brown spots, another 5-8 minutes.
8. Transfer the steak to a serving platter and serve warm.