Posted 28 December 2007 - 10:25 PM
And the flavour you imagine will come streaming from the spout.
My Blog--Thanksgiving and Goodwill
Posted 26 January 2008 - 03:39 PM
Posted 27 January 2008 - 09:10 AM
is this aged ham too salty to have as a steak? is that why it has to be sliced thin? is it tender? is it spongy juicy like the stuff from tins?
Most definitely not the spongy stuff from tins, and when I'm describing it too people I use that example to illustrate the difference. The canned item is pink, flabby, and waterlogged. Country ham is dark, firm, and fine-grained.
There are two ways to serve country ham: sliced (like a steak) and heated in a skillet (which will make it buckle and curl). You don't need to add any fat, of course, but I typically rinse the slices in water to remove surface salt crystals, and that moisture helps in the skillet. The resulting texture is quite firm, a bit like the meaty part of strip bacon, or Canadian/peameal bacon. The flavor is strong, and usually fairly salty. If you find it's too salty you can soak the slices in water for few minutes before cooking, but be careful you don't turn it into waterlogged mush.
Country hams may also be baked, resulting in a much more tender but still very highly flavored product.
The slicing thin aspect of serving it has to do with the fact that it is so highly flavored that a little goes a long way, and none of wants to waste something so lovely. It is also fairly salty, and I tend to undersalt whatever I'm serving with it, and make a point of serving contrasting flavors like bitter (greens), sour (pickles), and bland (grits).