Ham & Cheese Ball

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If you were cooking in the 1980’s, you most likely had a collection of Canada’s best selling Best of Bridge cookbooks.  This ham ball from the yellow book (you would refer to the book by color when your friends asked you where your delicious recipe came from) was a Lepp family Christmas tradition and when I was packing school lunches would often make individual sized servings, which along with crackers made a tasty alternative to boring sandwiches.


I stopped making it a number of years ago because the original recipe called for tins of flaked ham, and frankly I just couldn’t stomach using them anymore.  In a brilliant “a-ha” moment last year, I realized I could just use our delicious Lepp’s deli hams and chop it myself.  Family tradition is saved, and ready to share with you all!  

Best of Bridge’s Ham and Cheese Ball, the “abridged” version


300 – 400 gm. piece of Lepp’s Country Ham, diced in large chunks

available in the deli, I wouldn’t use Black Forest Ham simply because of the dark exterior

8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature

¼ cup mayonnaise

2 Tbsp. chopped parsley

1 small shallot, finely chopped (or 1 Tbsp. finely minced onion)

¼ tsp. dry mustard

¼ tsp. Tabasco or Sriracha

1 cup finely chopped walnuts


In food processor using the chopping blade and a pulsing on/off motion, chop the ham until it is finely ground.  

In a separate bowl, beat the cheese and mayonnaise until smooth.  Stir in all remaining ingredients except nuts.  If using the larger quantity of ham, you can add an additional tablespoon of mayonnaise to ensure it’s moist enough.  

Cover and chill for at least an hour.  

Using hands, form into one large or two small balls.  Lay a piece of waxed or parchment paper on your counter, place chopped nuts on paper and roll ham ball in walnuts to coat.  

Tip: Freezes well.