Use a fork (not your hands; the warm potato will stick to your fingers and clump together) to separate and gently spread the potato out on the cutting board and let it cool completely, about 20 minutes or so.
Preheat oven to 350*F
Coarsely chop the ham and pulse it in a food processor with the sharp blade until it's very fine, like this (if you don't have a food processor, mince it finely):
In a large bowl, combine everything but the potato and bacon, mixing thoroughly with a fork until it's well blended. Sprinkle 2/3 c of the potato over the mixture and blend it in. Here's where you can choose to leave it in little bites, as I did, or mix it more thoroughly. Put a cooling rack over a baking half-sheet and lay down 4 half-strips of bacon in the center. Handling the mixture gently, form a rectangle, pressing the meat out to the edges of the bacon. Lay the remaining four strips of bacon over the top.
>>You can put it on a plate, cover with cling wrap and refrigerate until the next evening, then transfer to the wire rack-baking sheet and bake.
Bake for 1 hour. Your whole kitchen will smell like heaven, and your dogs will be hanging out as closely as they dare. Here it is straight out of the oven.