Sweet, stewed tomatoes are the perfect foil for fried ham steaks. This recipe first appeared in our Jan/Feb 2013 issue along with Jane and Michael Stern's article Hap Townes' Stewed Tomatoes.
- 8 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
- 1⁄2 small onion, finely chopped
- 8 ripe plum tomatoes, peeled and halved
- 2 tbsp. sugar
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 sprig fresh oregano
- 2 slices white bread, lightly toasted and torn into 1" pieces
- 2 tbsp. lemon juice
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 tbsp. parsley, finely chopped
- 1 lb. thin-cut ham steaks, cut into quarters
Heat 4 tbsp. butter in a 6-qt. saucepan. Add garlic, celery, and onion, and cook until soft, 6–8 minutes. Add tomatoes, sugar, bay leaf, and oregano, and bring to a simmer. Cook until tomatoes are very soft, about 45 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, add bread and lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until bread is soft, about 5 minutes more. Stir in 2 tbsp. butter and the parsley. Set aside in a warm place.
Heat remaining butter in a 12" skillet over medium-high heat. Working in 2 batches, add ham and cook, flipping once, until browned, about 8 minutes. Serve with the stewed tomatoes.