Elwood’s Ham Chowder | Recipes

This recipe from Magnolia’s in Charleston is taken from The Charleston Chef’s Table by Holly Herrick.

Elwood’s Ham Chowder

(Serves 12)


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus more if needed
  • 1 pound cured ham trimmings, coarsely ground or minced
  • 3 cups diced onions
  • 2 tablespoons sliced garlic
  • 12 cups stemmed and finely chopped fresh collards
  • 1 ½ tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes with juice
  • 7 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups beef stock, homemade or high-quality store-bought
  • 6 cups diced red potatoes (¼ -inch) dice
  • 1 ½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Tabasco sauce, plus more to taste
  • Salt to taste


Heat the oil in a large, heavy pot. Add the ham and render the fat from the ham, cooking it slowly over medium heat and stirring frequently to keep it from browning. Add the onions and garlic. Reduce heat to low and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions and garlic are soft, 3 minutes. Add more oil if the ham doesn’t render enough fat to keep the pan moist. Slowly add the collards and allow them to wilt. (This should be done in two batches, as the collards are very bulky, but will wilt down like all greens.) Add the herbs, tomatoes with juice, chicken stock, beef stock, and red potatoes.

Slowly bring mixture up to a simmer and continue to cook for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked through. Skim the chowder to remove any foam or oil that may appear during cooking. Add the pepper and Tabasco. Season to taste with salt and more Tabasco if desired.


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