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Country Ham


M. Lucia
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Unable to be in Tenn. for Christmas this year, we ordered country ham to have with biscuits on Christmas morning. When we called to order the ham, we asked if it could be thinly sliced, and the man at the hammry replied "why lady, you can read a newspaper through it." Made me miss the south.

It was great and I have found a myriad of other ways to use it, subbing it for proscieutto in recipes.

Why isn't this salty wonderful thing known in the north?

I know there are lots of regional preferences to country ham (where you get it, how salty, how thickly sliced, how to serve). So how do you like your country ham?

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Unable to be in Tenn. for Christmas this year, we ordered country ham to have with biscuits on Christmas morning. When we called to order the ham, we asked if it could be thinly sliced, and the man at the hammry replied "why lady, you can read a newspaper through it." Made me miss the south.

It was great and I have found a myriad of other ways to use it, subbing it for proscieutto in recipes.

Why isn't this salty wonderful thing known in the north?

I know there are lots of regional preferences to country ham (where you get it, how salty, how thickly sliced, how to serve). So how do you like your country ham?

I like the Prosciutto that this place makes. :biggrin:http://www.newsomscountryham.com/newgouragpro.html

Bruce Frigard

Quality control Taster, Château D'Eau Winery

"Free time is the engine of ingenuity, creativity and innovation"

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

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Unable to be in Tenn. for Christmas this year, we ordered country ham to have with biscuits on Christmas morning. When we called to order the ham, we asked if it could be thinly sliced, and the man at the hammry replied "why lady, you can read a newspaper through it." Made me miss the south.

It was great and I have found a myriad of other ways to use it, subbing it for proscieutto in recipes.

Why isn't this salty wonderful thing known in the north?

I know there are lots of regional preferences to country ham (where you get it, how salty, how thickly sliced, how to serve). So how do you like your country ham?

Great thread! I remember getting a ham via mail order about fifteen years ago, soaking it in the tub (pissing off roommates for a day), having to haul it to a butcher to cut it so that it would fit into the oven... and it was a profound, amazing thing. Haven't seen or had that kind of ham since, I'm sad to say.

Where do you get yours? What are good and reliable suppliers?

Chris Amirault

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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I like the Prosciutto that this place makes. :biggrin:http://www.newsomscountryham.com/newgouragpro.html

It looks like this place also has Kentucky country ham.

We ordered ours from our family's hometown, a little place called G&W Hamery in Tenn. It came vacuum-packed and presliced so there was no fuss, but you can order whole hams as well.

I know Smithfield Hams is famous for Virginia country hams.

I founf this great article about country ham as well.

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The Beaumont Inn in Harrodsburg KY sets the standard for Country Ham. Their version is aged a total of two years - a year by the smokehouse and a second year by the Beaumont Inn. The second year gives it a rich red, amost burgandy color and a deep, mellow flavor.

Beaumont-ChixHam.jpg

According to Beaumont Inn's owner, cutting into one is like opening a bottle of aged wine. You know it's going to be great, but you just don't know how great until you slice off a taste.

Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

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The Beaumont Inn in Harrodsburg KY sets the standard for Country Ham.  Their version is aged a total of two years - a year by the smokehouse and a second year by the Beaumont Inn.  The second year gives it a rich red, amost burgandy color and a deep, mellow flavor.

Beaumont-ChixHam.jpg

According to Beaumont Inn's owner, cutting into one is like opening a bottle of aged wine.  You know it's going to be great, but you just don't know how great until you slice off a taste.

Lord, lord. It makes me want to holler, it looks so good.

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Why isn't this salty wonderful thing known in the north?

I know there are lots of regional preferences to country ham (where you get it, how salty, how thickly sliced, how to serve). So how do you like your country ham?

I believe Michael Staedtlander at Eigensinn (Owen Sound, near Georgian Bay. Ontario) is raising his own pigs for the restaurant, and using a very long (several weeks) slow smoking process without nitrates or nitrites. There is a very thorough review of the restaurant in Toronto, by Estufarian.

This is pretty far north!

Edited by jayt90 (log)
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I really like the country ham from Big Ham in Centerville, TN. Last time I cooked some for guests, one suggested boiling it first in half-coke, half-water (I usually just use water). Can't say I could tell the difference, but I'd had a couple of Mimosas. Anybody else ever heard of this practice?

Don Moore

Nashville, TN

Peace on Earth

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I have heard of the coca cola ham, in fact I think it even made it into one of Nigella Lawson's cookbooks. I've never had it but my mom says its pretty good, the coke makes a sweet caramelized sauce.

Ambrosia, that Kentucky ham is beautiful. It also illustrates what I was saying about different preferences. It is much more of a ruby hue than the ham we get.

My camera is no longer working, but I found a rather paltry shot of some ham peaking out of some biscuits:

gallery_22248_438_1103998430.jpg

umm, tartiflette

Thanks for the responses everyone. Generally I find most people in New York have never even heard of country ham, and many skeptics are off-put by its saltiness.

Edited by M. Lucia (log)
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The greatest thing about being a Yankee married into a Reb family was my introduction to Smithfield country ham. Every year, I take a pound or so of it home with me from Lynchburg VA after Xmas. We get it from a deli/gas station.

With this delight, my FIL makes the best damn ham biscuits ever.

If someone writes a book about restaurants and nobody reads it, will it produce a 10 page thread?

Joe W

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I really like the country ham from Big Ham in Centerville, TN. 

Don,

Do you mean Bigham's Country Ham in Cornersville, TN?

Yeah, that's the one ;) I don't actually buy it from there, but from C&F Meats, who buys it from them. I love it!

Don Moore

Nashville, TN

Peace on Earth

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I was just reading in the Pat Conroy cookbook about how growing up, he considered Smithfield ham the gold standard growing up. There was some great quote about how around here when someone dies, the pigs start getting nervous (referring to all the food people bring to the bereaved family).

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  • 2 weeks later...

I ordered an aged country ham from Burger's Smokehouse for the holidays. Now that is a ham that reaches out and slaps you! Not for the meek. I am working up the nerve to get one of their attic-aged jobbies. Man, I'll bet that is stout! Happily, I married into a southern family that knows their way around a kitchen, and they know what good ham tastes like. While it was good with the formal dinner, the best part to me was having some fried the next morning and eating it with homemade biscuits and some pan (red-eye) gravy. I had to take an extra blood-pressure pill afterwards, but it was worth it.

Dave

Dave

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My parents visited over the holidays. Instead of bringing a ham with her (they live in Kentucky) she had one shipped ahead of time from Burgers' Smokehouse. Looks like lots of cool stuff on their web site. Even if they are in Missouri.

Quite good, if not the truly ambrosial Kentucky ham that's served with beaten biscuits (which are like crackers, not biscuits at all) that I remember.

She forgot to bring any beaten biscuits, to my great chagrin.

Just finished using the last of the hambone for split pea soup. Excellent.

Can you pee in the ocean?

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Whaddaya mean, "even if they are in Missouri"?!?! :angry: We make outstanding hams here, and Burger's are excellent.

I myself just began the process of curing a ham yesterday. One of my 4-H leaders does a couple every year, and his club decided to try it this year. We used a salt/brown sugar/black pepper/red pepper/saltpetre rub. They will hang at least til April.

$20 for the fresh ham, $2 for the salt et al--if it doesn't work, no great loss.

sparrowgrass
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Ok, I have to admit I thought Missouri, ham, it can't be country ham.

But it is! They even have biscuit cut ham.

So, I wonder if a lot of Missourians like country ham, or do they go for the other stuff (I notice their most populars include city ham and a honey glazed ham)?

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One of the best country hams I've ever had was from Holloway Hams. Its a Broadbent ham that's been 'double' smoked. All you do is slice and eat and wowie. Saveur did a story on these folks a year or so ago.

I've had hams from Burgers Smokehouse, Smithfield, from Kentucky and from Tennessee, hither and yon. Every year a bunch of us get together to celebrate all things Ham. :raz: We order one of these pups and make a grand feast around it.

Edited by malarkey (log)

Born Free, Now Expensive

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Whaddaya mean, "even if they are in Missouri"?!?!  :angry:  We make outstanding hams here, and  Burger's are excellent.

Heh heh. Fine ham indeed, but there's a certain coals to Newcastle feeling to the entire enterprise: a woman with access to excellent product in Kentucky ships a "southern smokehouse" ham from the midwest to another woman in Georgia. And both women grew up eating country ham reared, butchered, and cured on the family farm in Virginia. Particularly strong endorsement of the Burgers' product, believe me.

Missouri's a fine place in any case. I even lived there briefly as a child, in Cape Girardeau.

Can you pee in the ocean?

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M. Lucia, most Missourians are like most Americans--they buy the vacuum packed, presliced water-added stuff at the grocery story.

Country folks, with long memories of grandma's breakfasts, buy country hams. It is pretty available--even in Walmart, at least at Christmas. Burgers sells vac-packed slices and seasoning bits (for green beans, of course) as well as whole and half hams in the grocery stores round here.

sparrowgrass
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I grew up in Jefferson City, 20 miles from Burger's. Their hams are available in supermarkets there, as well as vacuum packed slices, trimmings, etc. The ham trimmings and bacon ends are great for green beans(dull-olive variety, not bright green), and I always use ham trimmings in red beans and rice. They are also considerably cheaper in the supermarkets there, if you happen to be near. I took the tour many years ago, and recommend it if you are passing near. A word of warning-I have found hams in our local (Little Rock, AR) Kroger's labelled "Burger's", complete with the corny graphics on the label, that are labelled as being produced in Tennessee. While they are "country" hams, I have found them to be lower quality and higher moisture content, leading me to suspect they are "counterfeit", and not from the same company.

There used to be a restaurant in Jefferson City called Nick's Homestead that served pan-fried chicken and country ham family style, with green beans, mashed potatoes, etc. Sadly, I don't know if they're still in business.

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