Country Ham

From Cook's Country | April​/May 2012

Why this recipe works:

Country ham is a dry-cured, (almost always) smoked, aged ham. Ages range from three months to two years. Hams less than 400 days old are generally cooked by the pervasive traditional method of soaking in water for a period of 12 to 48 hours to draw out the salt and moisten the meat, followed… read more

Country ham is a dry-cured, (almost always) smoked, aged ham. Ages range from three months to two years. Hams less than 400 days old are generally cooked by the pervasive traditional method of soaking in water for a period of 12 to 48 hours to draw out the salt and moisten the meat, followed by a simmer in a large pot of fresh water. As we found out, this process is time-consuming, unwieldy, and unnecessary. The soaking did nothing to mitigate the salt content or introduce moisture to the ham. It turns out that cooking the ham in a low oven in a covered roasting pan with just a quart of water was sufficient to produce a juicy ham and reduce moisture loss. This eliminated the hassle of soaking, finding a pot the size of a bathtub, and sloshing boiling water all over the kitchen.

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Serves 12 to 15

Use hams aged six months or less for this recipe. Mold on country ham is not a sign of spoilage; it is a natural effect of the curing and aging process. Serve ham on biscuits with Jezebel Sauce (see related recipe). Leftover ham is delicious in scrambled eggs, cheese grits, macaroni and cheese, and all manner of things.

Ingredients

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