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Mail-Order Virginia Country Hams


Chris Amirault
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47 minutes ago, AAQuesada said:

@weinoo what are the little 'packages' on their soup? a pasta of some sort.. Looks great!

I don't 100% remember, but I think they were more of a veg sliced super thin as a wrapper? Like kohlrabi or something. 

Edited by weinoo (log)
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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

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11 hours ago, weinoo said:

think it's fairly close. I've made ham stock from unsmoked hocks, enhanced with some other pork bones. I was actually trying to emulate a dish we had in Barcelona...

 

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Oh wow. Thank you @weinoo! That looks delicious - both versions - and is inspiring!

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gayle28607

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When I put this dish together I'll take photos. The progress today was slow, as I let the cooked country ham hock sit overnight to gel so I could easily remove the skin and bones. Once I did that, I realized I needed to add the stock today to the pot of Marcella cannellinis at the point I would have added salt to the pot of beans. The stock is sufficiently salty that I didn't want to risk having salted the beans and their broth early on only to add the country ham stock later and find I had made everything too salty. The stock itself is not too salty. Just very richly and dryly hammy, if that makes any sense. The flavor is so different than a smoked "city" ham hock.

 

Tomorrow I may put the rest of it together. Either that, or the next day. It depends on whether tomorrow turns out to be the day I buy a used car with my 19 year old. She can't work without a car to drive in our semi-rural area, and she blew the head gasket on her intrepid, old, but increasing untrusty Honda CR-V. So, cooking the pasta e fagioli may have to take second place.

 

But I am inspired, @weinoo, that apparently I'm not in entirely uncharted waters here.

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gayle28607

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11 hours ago, Gayle28607 said:

But I am inspired, @weinoo, that apparently I'm not in entirely uncharted waters here.

Good!

 

Indeed watch the salt.  I think I may have blanched the hocks before I make stock with them. But for sure you want to check its saltiness level before using it to cook the beans.

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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On 6/6/2021 at 12:03 AM, Kim Shook said:

I do not know the answer to your question, but I'm intrigued by your post and hope you'll let us know where this goes!  You write very well, BTW!

Thank you, Kim. That means a lot.

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gayle28607

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I've looked far and wide to find smoked NC country ham that can compare to what's on offer from Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee, but sadly I haven't been able to find anything decent. Johnston Country Hams used to produce some good products, but they unfortunately went out of business after a listeria recall. Here smoked hams are the exception, and I haven't been able to find one that is both smoked and aged long enough to develop the sort of rich savoriness I associate with good ham. Most NC ham is unsmoked, made from commodity pork, and seldom aged much longer than 90 days. If young, unsmoked hams from unexceptional pigs are your thing... I guess NC has a lot to offer. But sadly, here in the foothills of the Blue Ridge, I have to import the good stuff from elsewhere. 

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Being a Tennessean by birth, I know from country ham. As you noted, it's dry-cured, but generally not smoked. I have added the "smoked" flavor, when it was needed, by tossing in a few pieces of smoked (uncooked) bacon. You can render the fat in whatever it is you're cooking; it imparts a bit of a smoky flavor. I keep packages of frozen smoked pork shoulder in the freezer; those serve the same purpose. But I find in most soups and stews, a cured hock that isn't smoked imparts the flavor I want; the smoke is not really imperative.

 

If you want both, consider ordering from Broadbent's. They do good smoked, cured products. Real good. And they sell "seasoning packets" -- end cuts of bacon and ham. Good stuff.

 

www.broadbents.com.

 

 

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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20 hours ago, btbyrd said:

But sadly, here in the foothills of the Blue Ridge, I have to import the good stuff from elsewhere. 

Where are you, if you don’t mind me asking, and who is your preferred purveyor of unsmoked country ham? Broadbents, Edwards - which apparently shared facilities at Goodnight Bros. here in Boone at one point following their fire - and several others in this thread are mixed up for me at the moment.

gayle28607

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10 hours ago, kayb said:

If you want both, consider ordering from Broadbent's. They do good smoked, cured products. Real good. And they sell "seasoning packets" -- end cuts of bacon and ham. Good stuff.

Thanks! And for this go round with the pasta e fagioli I decided to toss in a few ounces of smoked pork shoulder I had in the freezer. As I have a couple remaining dry cured hocks I can try it sans smokey flavor going forward. Though @btbyrd may be suggesting I have an inferior product, period. As I have nothing to compare it with at the moment, I wouldn’t know. I only know it isn’t the ham hocks I was accustomed to.

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gayle28607

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