What Is Ham Cream and How Can I Eat It Every Day?

Nashville restaurant Audrey transforms country ham trimmings into possibly the most Southern topping ever

Ham cream on top of a hashbrown on a plate


Ham cream over hashbrowns, from the brunch menu of Nashville's Audrey.

Ever since renowned chef Sean Brock opened his Nashville flagship restaurant, Audrey, in 2021, it has been extolled for melding traditional Appalachian cuisine with gourmet inspiration. Take a peek into the restaurant’s upstairs “lab,” devoted to the creative rebirth of what other kitchens might consider waste, and you’ll find jar upon jar of fermenting veggie bits alongside wild onion blossoms being freeze-dried for use as spring garnishes.

Stay in Touch with G&G
Get The Skillet, our weekly food and drink newsletter.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

But it wasn’t until Audrey’s first brunch menu was being brainstormed last year that chef de cuisine Colin Shane proposed a condiment that melds two already-craveable components into something downright magical: ham cream. (Go ahead, let that soak in for a moment.)

Inspiration came from a meal Shane ate at Blackberry Farm in Walland, Tennessee, for which executive chef Cassidee Dabney bound a dish of peas with ham-accented cream. “There’s never a lack of country ham bits and bark around Audrey, and I thought it would be perfect on potatoes, so we got that recipe and amplified it a bit because of the tools we have in the lab,” Shane says. “The idea made Sean laugh, and that’s when we know he’s pumped.”

Once you wrap your blown mind around the concept, akin to a decidedly non-kosher twist on latkes and sour cream, the alchemy is fairly straightforward. Country ham trimmings are chopped and warmed in heavy cream before the mixture is strained, chilled, and whipped. (Full recipe below.) “Done right, it comes out stark white and the texture of Cool Whip,” says Shane, who admits that guests aren’t always sure what to expect when it arrives at the table atop hashbrowns. “It’s a very cool bit of food, fun and whimsical. There’s lots of flavor, but it’s not heavy.”

Once you’ve made a batch of ham cream, of course, you’ll likely be tempted to spoon it on everything. After a bit of coaxing, Shane offers a suggestion: “If you wanted to further embrace the ham cream’s sweet-and-savory thing, throw it on a slice of apple pie.”


  • Audrey’s Ham Cream (Yield: about 2 cups)

    • 2 oz. country ham or country ham trimmings

    • 1 cup heavy cream

    • Salt or white soy sauce (to taste, if desired)

    • Chives

    • Cracked black pepper


  1. Trim fat from ham and submerge ham in ice water for 2 hours. Drain well and chop into small bits. Put into a medium saucepot and cover with heavy cream. Bring to just below a simmer and hold at this temperature for 45 minutes, being careful not to boil the cream. Strain the cream through a fine mesh strainer into a container, and place in the fridge overnight to cool.

  2. Taste the ham cream and if desired, season additionally with a pinch of salt or splash of white soy sauce. (This will vary depending on the ham used and personal preference.) Use a whisk to gently whip by hand until stiff peaks form, being careful not to overwhip. Hold refrigerated until ready to serve. Dollop on hashbrowns or breakfast potatoes, and garnish with chives and cracked black pepper.