Jacques Pepin, distinguished private chef, poet, HoJo consultant, and author of some of the thickest tomes of culinary education, also likes to eat on time. Although he’s recently been strutting his stuff on PBS hawking his 2004 cookbook Fast Food My Way, he’s been trying to cut corners for a long time. Or so I found out when I stumbled upon his The Short-Cut Book, which was released in 1990.
Luckily, I unearthed it from the Columbus, Ohio, public library, where it hadn’t been checked out since 1996. Anyway, true to claim, there are some great quick recipes in here. What caught my eye first was the recipe for broiled ham steaks, both because it was surprisingly easy looking and because I had some ready to go in the fridge. The ham steaks I had were probably way too thin. Pepin advocates half-inch steaks, and mine were more like an eighth inch, or just a tad thicker than deli slices. Anyway, this dish is more about the sauce, which is made with relatively common ingredients.
Preparing the ham steaks could not be much simpler. Slather on some of the sauce, place under the broiler, and cook until the sauce caramelizes. Even the sauce requires virtually no time. Just whisk everything together and go.
- 4 ham steaks
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 4 teaspoons brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
Preheat the broiler. Wrap some foil around a baking sheet, and place the steaks atop so they don’t overlap.
Mix the ketchup, brown sugar, hot sauce, and dry mustard until smooth. Slather on the ham steaks with a brush.
Place the pan about 5 inches under the broiler. Cook until the sauce caramelizes and the ham is heated through, about 5 minutes.