Cottage Ham Dinner (One Pot) | Renee's Kitchen Adventures

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Cottage Ham Dinner (One Pot)

When it comes to Ohio comfort food, Cottage Ham cooked with cabbage, red potatoes, and carrots sits at the top of the list. It's a one pot meal that's full of flavor. 

Sliced cottage ham on plate with carrots, cabbage, and potatoes, ready to eat.

I love the flavors in this simple meal of boiled Cottage Ham with cabbage, red potatoes, and carrots. It's a regional meal I've grown up with and it couldn't be any easier to make! 

If the flavor doesn't hook you in, the ease of preparation will. Everything gets thrown into a pot and is cooked together, making this the ultimate one pot meal. Serve horseradish or a grainy brown mustard on the side to complete the meal. 

Sliced cottage ham on platter with carrots, cabbage, and potatoes ready to serve.

What is a cottage ham?

A cottage ham (also known as a cottage roll) is not really a ham at all. A ham is cut from the pig's upper hind leg. A cottage ham (also known as a boneless pork shoulder butt) is cut from the shoulder of the pig.  This is the same area that you get a picnic roast or a Boston butt from, however, a cottage ham has no bone. 

This small portion of pork is cured in brine, and often smoked, then sold in most Ohio grocery stores as a "cottage ham" and packaged as you see below. For this recipe, you will want a cottage ham that has been brined and smoked.

A cottage ham tastes nothing like the fresh pork shoulder you use to make pulled pork because it is cured in brine, and often smoked, before heading to the grocery store for purchase. In fact, in my opinion, it does taste like a "ham."

How do I cook a cottage ham?

The main cooking method for this meat is boiling. Like other brined meats (think corned beef), this method of cooking helps draw out some of the salt and when cooked with vegetables, helps season them during the cooking process. I like this method best, but you can also roast, broil, or fry cottage hams. 

By using the boil method to cook this cottage hem you will find the fat melts into the meat and creates a wonderful soft mouthful full of flavor. The addition of a little vinegar in the boil, helps balance out the richness of the meat.

packaged cottage ham with raw carrots and raw cabbage on a wooden cutting board.

Cottage hams are relatively small. On the average of 1 to 3 lbs.  But cottage hams are very rich, so a small serving size is all you need per person. A three pound ham will easily feed 6-8 people. 

Ready to cook cottage ham on wooden cutting board, out of packaging

We like cottage ham cooked with cabbage, carrots, and potatoes, but cooking it with potatoes and green beans is also popular. 

white plate with serving of sliced cottage ham, carrots, cabbage, and potatoes ready to eat with salt, pepper, and horseradish in background

What do I need to make a cottage ham?

  • A heavy duty 6 quart (or bigger) dutch oven or stock pot - I like to make this cottage ham recipe in a 6 quart enamel coated dutch oven
  • All the ingredients to make this recipe : a 2 lb. smoked boneless pork shoulder butt, carrots, medium sized head of green cabbage, dried bay leaves, whole black peppercorns, redskin potatoes, salt and pepper, and horseradish, if desired.
  • Time - the boiling process does take some time. You don't want to rush it, because you will end up with a tough cottage ham if it's not cooked long enough. Give yourself at least 2 hours to make this recipe. It's not all hands on time, so you can do other things while the cottage ham dinner is cooking.

Close up of sliced cottage ham on white plate ready to eat

Can I make a cottage ham in the slow cooker?

Yes, you can make this recipe for cottage ham in the slow cooker. You will not need as much water as called for in the boiling method. To adapt to the slow cooker, first place the cottage ham into the crock and cover with enough water to go about an inch past the top of the roast. Next add in the carrots, bay leaves, peppercorns, vinegar, cabbage, and potatoes. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 to 6 hours. Cottage ham is done when it is fork tender. 

If you like your potatoes more firm, you can add them in halfway into the cooking time instead of at the beginning. 

Can I make a cottage ham in the instant pot?

I don't see why you couldn't make this cottage ham recipe in an instant pot. I have not tested this recipe in an instant pot, so I don't have cook times and pressure release advice. However, this is something I will definately look into testing and edit this post when I feel confident in my findings. 

What can I serve with this cottage ham recipe?

Since this cottage ham recipe is a one pot meal, you really don't need to add anything to complete it. Although, my husband would argue that a slice of fresh rye bread slathered in butter is the perfect accompaniment. 

More comfort food recipes with pork to enjoy

Cottage Ham, cottage ham with cabbage
main course, pork
Yield: 6 servings
Author: Renee Paj
Cottage Ham

Cottage Ham

Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 1 H & 30 Minactive time: 10 MinTotal time: 1 H & 50 M
When it comes to Ohio comfort food, Cottage Ham cooked with cabbage, red potatoes, and carrots sits at the top of the list. It's a one pot meal that's full of flavor.


  • 2 lb. smoked boneless pork shoulder butt
  • 4 - 5 large carrots, peeled and cut into 2" pieces
  • 1 medium sized green cabbage, cored and cut into chunks
  • 1 - 2 bay leaves
  • 2 TBSP. Cider Vinegar
  • 1 tsp. whole black peppercorns
  • 8 - 10 redskin potatoes, quartered
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • prepared horseradish for serving, if desired


  1. In large stock pot, add cottage ham, carrots, and cabbage. Cover with water about an inch or two above the cabbage. 
  2. Drop in peppercorns and bay leaves. Add in the cider vinegar.
  3. Bring pot up to boil, cover loosely, and simmer for about an 45 minutes. 
  4. Add in the potatoes. Loosely cover and cook another 45 minutes to an hour, or until vegetables and cottage ham are soft. 
  5. Remove vegetables and cottage ham to serving platter. Cover loosely with foil and let sit for 10 minutes. Slice the cottage ham. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper, as desired.  Serve with prepared horseradish, if desired. 


Unfortunately, I am unable to provide nutritional information as the nutritional values for cottage ham are not in the data base and I do not have them available to me at this time.

Nutritional Information is an estimate and provided as a courtesy.

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  1. Yum, I wonder if my local butcher would do this next time I buy a side of pork...

    1. Hi Inger! I think it wouldn't hurt to ask. It would need to be cured, but maybe he could do that for you as well or point you in the right direction for it! Good luck and let me know!

  2. An absolute meal staple growing up. I picked up a cottage ham on my way through Cincy and will be making for my GF for the first time. It's not my usual vegetarian fare, but I'm declaring a vegetarian vacation day to share a much-loved dish with someone I love.

    1. Hello and thank you for your comment! How wonderful that you get to share a memory with someone you love. It's one of our favorite comfort foods in this house too! If you love this recipe, check out my recipe for City Chicken (just type it into the find a recipe widget on the side of the page). It's also one of those recipes that people remember from their past. I hope you enjoy this recipe!!

  3. Hi, in Canada this is called a Cottage Roll, and I've cooked many of them over the years, especially when we were at our cottage (go figure😋)! Definitely a family favourite. Cottage roll is especially delicious if you finish it in the oven with a mustard and brown sugar glaze😋

    1. Oh that does sound amazing with the mustard and brown sugar glaze! Thanks so much for sharing!

  4. Could a cushion pork shoulder work for this recipe??

    1. Hi! Thanks for your question. I've never cooked with a pork cushion and I've not seen that cut available here, but it seems to be a similar piece of pork as used in the recipe above with the exception that the cut used in the recipe here is smoked. This recipe may work for a cushion pork shoulder, but I can't say for sure. If you try it out, make sure to come back and let me know how it worked out for you!

  5. Thanks, Renee! Great recipe and instructions - made it easy for me to use my crockpot and ensure all of the veggies were fully cooked. I did the potatoes separately as a scallop. For what it is worth, I started my crockpot on high for the first 2 hours, then low and checked it about every hour or do to see if I needed to kick up the heat.
    Thanks again!

    1. Hello! I'm so happy you enjoyed it! I sometimes make it in the slow cooker too.

  6. Thanks, Renee - great recipe and instructions! I used my crockpot and started it on high for the first hour or so, aining for it being done in 8 hour. I checked ever hour or so and kicked it up from low to high if it seemed a bit slow. Thanks again!

    1. HI Mary! Thanks so much for your comment and I'm glad you enjoyed this recipe!


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