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Chris Amirault

Mail-Order Virginia Country Hams

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On 4/15/2018 at 10:53 PM, Hassouni said:

On that note, for those who've ordered a whole ham - does anybody eat it "European" style (i.e. Serrano, Prosciutto-style slices) as Dave Arnold recommends and I've followed suit? If so, about how long does it last you, and how do you store it?

 

Yes.

They don't last long—I consume them in various ways.

I keep them in a cool place.

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2 hours ago, DiggingDogFarm said:

 

Yes.

They don't last long—I consume them in various ways.

I keep them in a cool place.

 

Because they spoil or because you eat them quickly?

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16 minutes ago, Hassouni said:

 

Because they spoil or because you eat them quickly?

 

Because I eat them quickly.

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On 4/15/2018 at 10:53 PM, Hassouni said:

On that note, for those who've ordered a whole ham - does anybody eat it "European" style (i.e. Serrano, Prosciutto-style slices) as Dave Arnold recommends and I've followed suit? If so, about how long does it last you, and how do you store it?

 

I have done this with Bentons. Very nice indeed

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I just made barley "risotto" using Fathers bacon fat.  Just great depth of flavor. 

 

If I were a  TV chef I'd babble about adding layers of flavor, but I've never had layered flavors except in a parfait or a cake. 

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I prefer kicking it up notches.

 

ANOTHER NOTCH! BAM!

 

Country bacon fat is one of the best notch-kicker-uppers...

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Country bacon fat is a necessity of life. Much more so than the bacon itself, and that's pretty damn important.

 

 

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6 hours ago, DiggingDogFarm said:

 

Because I eat them quickly.

 

5 hours ago, gfweb said:

 

I have done this with Bentons. Very nice indeed

 

So do you keep it hanging? Do you have a Spanish style ham stand for carving?

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2 hours ago, DiggingDogFarm said:

 

I wrap it in unbleached cotton muslin, put it in a ham net, and hang it in the curing chamber.

 

Perhaps a bit off-topic, but I'm interested to hear about the curing chamber. Did you build it, or convert it, within your house? What temp do you keep, and how do you keep it there?

 

Am looking at the possibility of buying a small "dorm room" fridge to use for hanging and curing meats. Not sure if the highest possible temp setting would still be too low. Thoughts?

 

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And what if I don't have a curing chamber?

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@Hassouni

 

I thought about this myself.

 

many of the longer aged American Country Hams as said to

 

be similar to the european versions

 

I was thinking about and aged ham from Bentons , as I really like their bacon

 

https://shop.bentonscountryham.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=awch

 

or even

 

https://shop.bentonscountryham.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=awchdt

 

they send you the skin and bones.

 

I thought id then portion the ham into decent pieces and vacuum seal and freeze

 

i havent gotten around to it

 

I can't say if the texture of the aged ham changes w vacuum freezing

 

I be Benton's knows.

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3 hours ago, kayb said:

Not sure if the highest possible temp setting would still be too low. Thoughts?

 

I use one of two chest freezers with temperature and humidity controllers.

Usually set up in autumn and early winter and spring to early summer.

I cure at low temperatures as does Robert Goodrick, a British expat who now lives up in Vancouver.

When curing at a lower than 'popular' temperature there are far fewer humidity issues.

About 38-40 degrees and 75% relative humidity.

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2 hours ago, Hassouni said:

And what if I don't have a curing chamber?

 

You could choose to keep it in the fridge, in a jumbo turkey roasting bag—they're readily available.

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2 hours ago, DiggingDogFarm said:

 

I use one of two chest freezers with temperature and humidity controllers.

Usually set up in autumn and early winter and spring to early summer.

I cure at low temperatures as does Robert Goodrick, a British expat who now lives up in Vancouver.

When curing at a lower than 'popular' temperature there are far fewer humidity issues.

About 38-40 degrees and 75% relative humidity.

 

Thanks. How do you maintain the humidity, given the tendency of fridges to dry things out? Do you just keep a bowl of water in there? And how do you measure the humidity -- are there gauges?

 

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2 hours ago, kayb said:

 

Thanks. How do you maintain the humidity, given the tendency of fridges to dry things out? Do you just keep a bowl of water in there? And how do you measure the humidity -- are there gauges?

 

 

The, really, ingenious, simple, device I found to control humidity is from perfect-cheese.com

It can humidify or dehumidify.

I'll document it when I set it up again.

If I don't, give me a swift kick in the ass—that may help. LOL


Edited by DiggingDogFarm (log)
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I thought the whole point of long-cured hams was that they don't need refrigeration?

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7 hours ago, kayb said:

 

Thanks. How do you maintain the humidity, given the tendency of fridges to dry things out? Do you just keep a bowl of water in there? And how do you measure the humidity -- are there gauges?

 

 

Speaking seriously, my refrigerator soaks everything in condensate, dissolved cheese, and/or other red-brown fluids...which eventually puddle on the floor.  How do get your refrigerator to dry things out?

 

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1 hour ago, Hassouni said:

I thought the whole point of long-cured hams was that they don't need refrigeration?

 

Well, they don't. But I stuck my neck out and answered the question in a 'safe' way. What I personally do and, what I suggest others do are two different things.

Seems you know what to do without asking.

 

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1 hour ago, Hassouni said:

I thought the whole point of long-cured hams was that they don't need refrigeration?

 

 Dive in, sink or swim. If it's a good dry cured ham, it's tough to go wrong.

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