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Mail-Order Virginia Country Hams


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@blue_dolphin 

 

I agree with you 

 

w/o looking into this too closely.

 

I also wonder if smoke has a propensity for Fat

 

ie when a ham or a side of bacon is

 

country smoked :

 

is the smoke evenly distributed 

 

throughout the ' item ? '

 

I have no idea is ' smoke ' is

 

water soluble or fat soluble.

 

Alton Brown did a show where he made his own

 

liquid smoke.  but smoke might cling to fat more than

 

lean.

 

and 130.1 F might remove smoke more efficiently 

 

I know it will help the salt get to an equilibrium

 

w the water in SV bag .  it's going to be in equilibrium for sure

 

then after a ' drain ' , I can re-seal the bags and

 

freeze.

 

something to do  as all the components are here

 

while I wait for my dual Jabs.

 

and yes its tasty w DinerPeas and Pasta.

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If it were me, I'd render that fat and save it in my bacon fat jar. 

Great for adding goodness to sauteed veg or making bacon caramel to put on/coat things like bacon.

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@gfweb 

 

interesting idea

 

how big a jar are you thinking about  ?

 

based on the Fine Products I have 

 

Jeroboam ?

 

based of what i have 

 

should I render it :

 

Balthazar  

 

more like a 

 

Nebuchadanezzar

 

I do like that name

 

maybe two bottles of

 

Neb.

 

 

 

 

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So far So good :

 

I soaked thew dice in cold water

 

30 ? 45 Min ?

 

swirled it around from time to time

 

and found this out :

 

as expected :

 

the water was a bit salty , and a bit smokey.

 

good :  smoke as I thought was water soluble.

 

then drained it and used the dice  non-sauted

 

in my Bow-Tie pasta , canned peas etc dinner

 

it was quite good.

 

then i took one cute ( they are small ) out and gave it a taste test

 

not to salty , not too smoky

 

here it comes :  not too tender , but at its size OK

 

os note re: diffusion :

 

you have A and B and they co-mingle.

 

what's in A might go into B and what's in B might go into A

 

water is A  , cubes of smoky pork B

 

of note its surface dependent 

 

water , has , I not sure , and infinite - 10 units surface ?

 

pork the surface of the faces of this small cubes.

 

next up :

 

Processed via the Cuinart , ultra sharp blade

 

w more diced smoky pork.

 

then 

 

you got it :  SV  130.1 until tender

 

bags and bags of the stuff

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On 2/15/2021 at 1:04 PM, gfweb said:

If it were me, I'd render that fat and save it in my bacon fat jar. 

Great for adding goodness to sauteed veg or making bacon caramel to put on/coat things like bacon.

 

you know toutons are traditionally fried in pork fat....

 

 

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Coincidentally, hours before yesterday's posts, I had started soaking a good-sized chunk of country ham (dry cured, not smoked - the hard, super salty ham).  It was too late to start cooking it by the time I got back to it, so it stayed in the fridge overnight.  This morning I drained it, put it in a bag, set the bag inside my mostly empty SV bath, filled the bag with water, finished filling the bath, then cooked it at 150 degrees for 8 hours.  I've had good results cooking city-ham in cryovac packaging, so I thought I'd try a variation of it with country ham.

 

It came out with a very nice texture - much better than another piece of the same ham that I cooked via a more traditional boil/simmer method a while back.  The extra long soak might have also helped though.  The meat along the cut edges was quite bland, but perhaps no more so than when I had simmered it.  I am definitely going to try it with SV again, but with a much shorter (or no) pre-soak.  Hopefully the cut edges will retain more flavor and/or the texture will be just as good.

 

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On 2/17/2021 at 11:23 AM, rotuts said:

@rustwood 

 

how was the saltiness ?

 

It varied.  I'd say for me, the outside 20% or so of the cut edges weren't salty enough.  The inner parts were good though.  Of course it is all relative.  I am at this moment eating some of the outer edge and while it isn't quite as flavorful what I expect for country ham, it is still a tasty side for my eggs and toast.

 

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16 minutes ago, rotuts said:

salt may always be added

 

rarely subtracted.

 

enjoy

 

This is true, although I am sure I am conflating the saltiness and the overall flavor to some extent.  That's especially hard to avoid with country ham since the salt is such a big component.  Breakfast is over now (yum!), but I should try adding some next time.  It seems so obvious now that you've said it, but this is the first time I've had the slightest temptation to add salt to country ham.  Thanks.

Edited by rustwood (log)
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its quite true :

 

some of the attraction of CH is its saliness

 

which is coupled , in the case of a smoked ham ,  the smokiness.

 

not in the case of your ham , that was jus brined and dried

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I decided to soak the county ham dice over night

 

w a change of water in the morning

 

then drained.  I was then going to VacPack it and freeze.

 

but I wanted to dry it out , so it would crumble , frozen , out of the bag. 

 

which I would then re-seal and place back in the freezer:

 

CH1.thumb.jpg.c0fb9d44941e906662e6c1b7ac1e7399.jpg

 

in my 10 " FondLess.  on low.  n0te aa l8ttle steam in the middle

 

CH2.thumb.jpg.fbde2d8e72d8f05e8588614a37ac4c96.jpg

 

note the Jus that came out of the ham

 

CH3.thumb.jpg.2ca5ab84c1497b58ea4884d3fdc8c102.jpg

 

jus evaporated , so I went for some Maillard-ing

 

CH4.thumb.jpg.840dc5e5608166319b50bc8cea46df7b.jpg

 

CH5.thumb.jpg.971d9dd06f5679cbd6649d45cf12fe90.jpg

 

cooling off on my back door cooling station. Seasonal.

 

N.B.:   this cooling station comes w several Personal Beverage cooling slots.

 

CH6.thumb.jpg.afc4bc8e6e1df1f747c63949b383e728.jpg

 

Vac Bagged , abd erady for the freeze3r.  its crumbly , and a Table spoon os this stuff goes a long wqy

 

not very salty now , and the smokiness is still there , but muted nicely.

 

Suburban Country Ham 

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  • 1 month later...

thumbnail_IMG_0593.jpg.7f0611669e278601445e6b137eb0a63c.jpg

 

We've had an uncooked country ham from Broadbent's hanging in the basement for a few weeks. It's nice and cool down there.  The ham weighed about twenty lbs.  

 

In order to save a lot of oven cleaning, I decided to cook it using the boiling method.

 

Out of the package:

 

thumbnail_IMG_0714.jpg.c184c62d5103483cea331e995c43f5e9.jpg

 

I gave it a good scrub in the sink and then placed it in the biggest pot I own.  I put it on top of the dryer and took many trips back and forth filling the pot with cold water--I couldn't carry the pot already filled.  Then covered with a tea towel.  Decided to soak it for 48 hours to get a lot of the salt out.  My plan was to boil it early on Easter Sunday until I reread the directions and it says after boiling you have to leave it in the water overnight.  So, on Saturday evening about 5 I had Ronnie dump the water and cut the hock off.

 

thumbnail_IMG_0716.jpg.27c07170c90ef34814a755fba87aac88.jpg

 Nice big one for later use.

 

Then we refilled the pot with clean water along with  a cup of brown sugar and half a cup of cider vinegar.  Took about an hour or so to start boiling.  I then turned it down to a simmer and let it do it's thing.  According to the directions it should take about twenty mins. per lb to get to an internal temp of one hundred and sixty F. So that's about 7 hours.  I dozed on the couch and checked the temp every hour.  Finally about 1:3O in the morning, it was done.  So, I turned the fire off and went to bed.

 

Out of the pot--oooh that was hard to get it out.  Heavy.

 

thumbnail_IMG_0720.jpg.4c1bfb85bc30b787f9107ef35c9b24e0.jpg

 

I had already peeled the skin off--super easy to peel.  We cut it into 3 "hunks".

 

I made a rub of brown sugar and spicy beer mustard.  Then I trimmed more of the fat and scored it and rubbed it all in.

 

Into the CSO at 425F for about 15 mins.

 

thumbnail_IMG_0725.jpg.466f5a2bca0521dd195e75caccf07b9f.jpg

 

Loved the taste.  Texture was a little over done --I want it a bit more firm.....next time I'll aim for maybe internal temp off 155F and then shut the fire off.  Overall a success though :) 

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1 minute ago, Kim Shook said:

@Shelby that is a gorgeous ham and the end result looks worth all the trouble.  I've never done that in my life and if Mr. Kim sees your post, I may be trying it.  Thanks for documenting it.

 

 

Be prepared for some grease......I am very glad I didn't do it in the oven.  Cleaning the CSO is much easier lol.  Of course, this was a huge ham...a smaller one would be a smidge easier. 

 

But, yeah, it was good and we will have some in the freezer for later.

 

I still have to wash my big pot.  Ronnie sprayed it off outside, but it still needs work.  I don't think I can wedge it in the dishwasher.

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if you were to soak these hams w several changes of water

 

I think my Uncle used a large beer cooler

 

then SV them ?

 

or cut out hunks , soak w several changes of water

 

the SV ?  put some ice cubes in the bag

 

--- easer to seal   then SV ?

 

freeze.  thaw out in the refrigerator , then brown in the CSO ?

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1 minute ago, rotuts said:

if you were to soak these hams w several changes of water

 

I think my Uncle used a large beer cooler

 

then SV them ?

 

or cut out hunks , soak w several changes of water

 

the SV ?  put some ice cubes in the bag

 

--- easer to seal   then SV ?

 

freeze.  thaw out in the refrigerator , then brown in the CSO ?

Maybe....the only bad or hard thing would be to cut through the skin.  I'm sure Ronnie could, but me....I think it would be tough.  I'll do some research and see what I find. :)

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37 minutes ago, Shelby said:

Be prepared for some grease......I am very glad I didn't do it in the oven.  Cleaning the CSO is much easier lol.  Of course, this was a huge ham...a smaller one would be a smidge easier. 

 

But, yeah, it was good and we will have some in the freezer for later.

 

I still have to wash my big pot.  Ronnie sprayed it off outside, but it still needs work.  I don't think I can wedge it in the dishwasher.

Well, with your special CSO, you could probably have gotten the whole ham in there 😁.  

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  • 2 months later...

This is about country ham, just not necessarily mail order, as the place I've gotten it from is just down the road. This is Goodnight Brothers ham in Boone, NC.

 

http://goodnightbrothers.com

 

I'm in this thread because I'm learning about country ham. When I first moved here, I did not like it. People served it on terrible biscuits, and as I'm a biscuit snob, and generally prefer to eat only my own biscuits, it was easy for me to say no to what others seemed to think was a delicacy.

 

During COVID I've had a hard time getting smoked ham hocks for beans and soups. That got me started thinking about the ham place in Boone. Wouldn't they be making ham hocks? Well, they do. But the ham hock is unsmoked. It took me awhile to figure that out though. Lot's of interesting hammy smells, but no smoke. And now, thanks to this thread, I know that the smoked bits from other companies have "Smoked" in their name on the package. This place doesn't smoke anything. They just dry cure it. I didn't know what that was, for sure, until I started investigating with the help of this thread. The ham hock they produce has skin, is generally sliced in half, with little meat, and what's there is quite dry. Lots of collagenous tissue though, and some nice bone.

 

I have several in the freezer and one slowly cooking on the stove, the same way I'd cook a smoked ham hock the day before I'd make a pot of split pea soup. I'm going to make my own variation on pasta e fagioli tomorrow or Monday, using my remaining pound of Rancho Gordo Marcella cannellinis. But I'm realizing I'm making something rather different than I thought I was, as this is country ham, not the kind I grew up with, and not what I thought I was using when I started it on a slow boil on the stove.

 

There is a lot of flavor already in the broth from the hock, which is still cooking. Should I think of this like cooking with a bit of prosciutto on the bone? Is that a thing?

 

 

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gayle28607

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7 hours ago, Gayle28607 said:

This is about country ham, just not necessarily mail order, as the place I've gotten it from is just down the road. This is Goodnight Brothers ham in Boone, NC.

 

http://goodnightbrothers.com

 

I'm in this thread because I'm learning about country ham. When I first moved here, I did not like it. People served it on terrible biscuits, and as I'm a biscuit snob, and generally prefer to eat only my own biscuits, it was easy for me to say no to what others seemed to think was a delicacy.

 

During COVID I've had a hard time getting smoked ham hocks for beans and soups. That got me started thinking about the ham place in Boone. Wouldn't they be making ham hocks? Well, they do. But the ham hock is unsmoked. It took me awhile to figure that out though. Lot's of interesting hammy smells, but no smoke. And now, thanks to this thread, I know that the smoked bits from other companies have "Smoked" in their name on the package. This place doesn't smoke anything. They just dry cure it. I didn't know what that was, for sure, until I started investigating with the help of this thread. The ham hock they produce has skin, is generally sliced in half, with little meat, and what's there is quite dry. Lots of collagenous tissue though, and some nice bone.

 

I have several in the freezer and one slowly cooking on the stove, the same way I'd cook a smoked ham hock the day before I'd make a pot of split pea soup. I'm going to make my own variation on pasta e fagioli tomorrow or Monday, using my remaining pound of Rancho Gordo Marcella cannellinis. But I'm realizing I'm making something rather different than I thought I was, as this is country ham, not the kind I grew up with, and not what I thought I was using when I started it on a slow boil on the stove.

 

There is a lot of flavor already in the broth from the hock, which is still cooking. Should I think of this like cooking with a bit of prosciutto on the bone? Is that a thing?

 

 

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!

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16 hours ago, Gayle28607 said:

There is a lot of flavor already in the broth from the hock, which is still cooking. Should I think of this like cooking with a bit of prosciutto on the bone? Is that a thing?

 

I 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...

 

1217177999_2016_12_175101.1.thumb.JPG.86627bff6f32d695a64c02c6ec4a65df.JPG

 

Guisados and crispy proscuitto in ham soup at Montbar. And then my half-assed attempt...

 

38369376_JamonSoup2017_02_180470.thumb.JPG.6833d2253c6da9f69fbd00aa420feb0b.JPG

 

I've also made ramen with that stock...

 

257492650_Jamonpearamen2017_04_170779.thumb.JPG.8f47e4e8509eb3b194eb1c176693c369.JPG

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