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Ham Recipes and Preparation

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Basics
For a 3-month cured ham:

Uncooked Country Ham Products like Biscuit Slices, Prosciutto, and Center Slices, do not require refrigeration for shipping, but need to be refrigerated upon arrival.

Whole Hams, unsliced - this ham is best used within 3 months of purchase.  Mold is typically found on whole country hams just like certain aged cheeses.  Wash and scrub with hot water and a stiff vegetable brush. 

Once you have sliced into your ham – we recommend wrapping the ham in butcher paper or foil to prevent the meat from drying out and keeping the ham refrigerated or frozen. 

Please follow cooking and carving instructions located on the back of each cloth ham bag. In case the bag is no longer around...

How to Prepare a Whole Country Ham

1. Wash/scrub as instructed above

2. Place in a pan or tub of water if you want to reduce the saltiness of the meat. It does not have to be refrigerated. Be sure the whole ham is well-covered in water.

3. Soak anywhere from 8 hours up to 2 days. Be sure to empty-out the water pan every 8 hours and add fresh water.

4. Cut off a little bit of the ham to cook it to see if the saltiness has decreased to your liking. You can heat up a thin slice in a tiny bit of oil in a frying pan.

5. If enough salt has soaked-out to suit your taste, empty out the last of the water.


To Roast Your Ham
1. Heat the oven to 350o

2
. Put your ham in a roasting pan, skin-side up. You might want to put a small rack underneath it.

3. Add about 2 inches of water to the roasting pan; 3" if you're using a rack. You want the water pretty far up on the sides of the ham. Replenish the water during cooking as it evaporates. Don't let your pan go dry.

4. Cover with aluminum foil (optional) while cooking.

5. Roast for 15-20 minutes per pound. (This means, for example, a 10 pound ham would take 150 -200 minutes to cook.)

6. Use a meat thermometer to check internal temperature. Be sure not to put thermometer on the bone. When your ham is 160o, it is done cooking.

7. Remove ham from the pan and carefully pull off the skin. You might want to wear rubber gloves to do this.

8. If you want to reduce the amount of fat on the ham, slide both hands along the flesh of the ham, scooping/scraping off the fat as you go.

9. Want to add extra flavor? Put the ham back in the pan, fat-side up.

10. Turn on the broiler.

11. Prepare a "rub": Mix together brown sugar, black pepper, cloves, and/or pineapple juice or other glazing mixtures of your choice. Apply to the fat-side of the ham.

12. Slide the ham in the pan back into the oven under the broiler. Keep an eye on it!

13. When the top browns, remove the ham.

14. Allow to cool thoroughly, and slice very thinly to serve. Enjoy!!



How To Boil Your Ham

1. Place the ham in the cooking pot, which must be only slightly larger than your ham. (A pot that is too large will require much more cooking liquid.) There should be only enough space around the ham for the liquid to move easily and cover it.

2. Cover it with cold liquid such as water and/or pineapple juice, apple juice, broth, wine, etc.

3. Add desired flavorings like herbs, cloves, or other spices.

4. Slowly bring liquid to a boil, skimming-off and discarding any foam that forms on top.

5.  As soon as it reaches a boil, reduce heat to low so that the liquid is only at a gentle simmer.

6. Cover pot.

7. Set a timer - after it has started to simmer, cook for 20 to 25 minutes per pound (e.g., an 8 pound ham would need about 160 minutes, or about 2 hours 40 minutes to 3 hours 20 minutes.)

8. The ham is done when:

  • a meat thermometer reaches 160o when inserted into a fleshy part of the ham, not touching the bone, or …
  • the meat pulls easily away from the bone when a knife is inserted into it.

9.) Cool the meat for several hours in the cooking liquid. Traditionally, the pot was covered with its lid, put on the floor of “the back room”, and then wrapped in quilts to tenderize the meat entirely in the hot liquid.

10.)  Don’t wait until it is cold though - while the meat is still warm, take it out of the pot.

11.)  Remove the skin.

12.)  Trim the layer of fat, leaving it ¼” thick.

13.)  If you want to glaze* your ham, preheat oven to 375° - 400°F. Score+ the fat and apply the glaze. Place in a roasting pan, and bake for 15 minutes or until glaze is nicely browned.

+To score the fat, use a sharp knife to cut down into the fat at diagonals one way across the ham, and then cut at diagonals from a different direction to create a diamond pattern in the fat.  e.g., Cut from “Northwest” to “Southeast” then cut from “Northeast” to “Southwest”. You might like to decorate it by pushing whole cloves down into the middle of some of the diamonds.

*Glaze adds a sweet contrast to the salt in a country ham. When it’s browned in the oven, it becomes a beautiful golden brown. Just be sure to watch it carefully so it doesn’t burn; it doesn’t take long to go from gold to black!

  

TO GLAZE YOUR HAM
There are several different ingredients you can use to glaze your ham. One of the easiest recipes:

8 oz of honey, clover honey is a good one
1 lb of light brown sugar

In a saucepan, cook the sugar and honey over medium heat until smooth and the sugar is dissolved. Stir often to prevent scorching. Carefully pour the hot mixture over the cooked ham, letting it run into the diamonds you’ve scored in the fat. Bake the ham at 375-400o, basting occasionally with the drippings as they accumulate in the roasting pan. Watch the process carefully so your delicious ham doesn’t burn. It will be a gorgeous golden brown when done.


RECIPES USING COUNTRY HAM


COUNTRY HAM BISCUITS
2c all-purpose flour
1T + 1t baking powder
2T shortening
3/4 c milk
1/2 c ground cooked country ham

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Cut-in shortening with a pastry blender. You want to keep working it until the mixture looks like coarse cornmeal. Stir in milk. Now mix as little as possible so the biscuits don't become tough.

Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Pat-out to an even thickness. (Again, handle as little as possible to keep biscuits tender.)

Cut dough with a 3" biscuit cutter (or the greased rim of a glass).

Place on a lightly-greased baking sheet. Bake at 425oF for 10 minutes or until pleasantly colored.

Yield: 12-14 biscuits


HAM & CHEESE MUFFINS
2c all-purpose flour
1T baking powder
1/2t salt
1 egg
1c buttermilk
1/4c your favorite cooking oil
8 oz diced, cooked, country ham
1 1/4 c grated sharp Cheddar cheese

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Set Aside.

Combine egg, buttermilk, and oil in a small mixing bowl; whisk to blend well. Stir-in ham and cheese.

Make a well in the center of flour mixture; pour egg mixture in center of well. Stir mixture just until combined. (Do not overmix or the muffins will have funny shapes.)

Spoon batter into greased and floured muffin pans (traditional size). Bake at 400oF for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Yield: 12 muffins


RECIPES FOR DRY-CURED BACON

** NOTE: Dry-cured bacon is traditionally salty. To reduce saltiness, soak for about 30 minutes, separating the slices, to dissolve some of the salt. PAT DRY! If the bacon has any water on it, it will spatter unmercifully when it hits the pan and can cause serious burns to your eyes or body. Do not put bacon wet with water into a hot pan, Friends.**

Grilled Bacon-Wrapped Sweet Onion Rings
(Use this delicious recipe at your own risk. Be Careful!)

1 sweet onion sliced into 1/2" rings,
1-2lbs of bacon, 
You will need one hour to cook onions slowly over the cool side of the grill.

Take a slice of bacon & loop it all around the ring, overlapping the bacon loops slightly. You might need more than one slice if it's a big ring. Secure it with a toothpick.

Very, VERY carefully put the bacon-wrapped onion rings on the cool side of the grill. Remember: bacon drips grease; fires like grease & go crazy. So, do be careful!

Let the rings cook until they're nice-n-soft & the bacon is crispy.



 

 

 

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