Before you start cooking country ham, you need to be aware of certain facts. Unlike canned or other ready to eat varieties, these necessitate careful preparation.
Note: you can substitute other glazing ingredients as you see fit.
Cleaning the Ham
The first step is to wipe away the mold on the ham. These are common in country hams, so there’s no need to worry about it. Just take them off. You might also want to immerse the meat in water. This will reduce some of the saltiness.
Cleaning the mold requires a brush. When they’ve all been removed, prepare warm water and soak it there for a few hours. A couple of days prior to cooking country ham, set it on a pan. Place it in cold water and leave it at room temperature.
Replace the water every 4 hours. The clear sign for water replacement is when crystals start appearing. Keep the ham in water for 12 hours. If crystals don’t appear, replace the water every six hours.
After the scrubbing and water immersing are done, put the ham in a pot. Fill it with water. Throw in the bay leaves. Let it boil for 20 minutes per pound. Next, turn on the oven. Preheat it at 400 F. Do the preheating a few minutes before boiling ends.
Remove the water prior to cooking country ham. Put the ham on the pan. Insert the thermometer in the juiciest part. The ham should turn brown in 15 minutes at a temperature of 400 F. Check the thermometer. Once it registers 160 degrees, the ham is cooked.
Cutting the Rind
The rind and fats can be cut near the end of the baking process. Take a sharp knife and slice off the rind and fat. Leave about a fourth of an inch of fat in the ham. You might also want to score the ham at this point. Make diagonal cuts along the fat, not the meat. Add some clove there.
As you are cooking country ham, don’t forget to add the glaze near the end of the baking process. The glaze can consist of mustard or just a little bit of sugar. In this example, get the mustard and sugar. Combine them and add to the ham half an hour before it is cooked. Adding the glaze too early could burn the ham and ruin its flavor.
Get the raspberry and other glaze ingredients and mix together. Put them on the ham immediately after the sugar and mustard. You can put in an extra amount of pineapple juice too. Others prefer to add some cherries. After the ham is cooked, cut it into serving pieces. You don’t have to add the extra pineapple juice if you think it’s sweet already.
Because it is so tasty, a lot of people like to start cooking
country ham during special gatherings. But once you get a taste, you’ll likely be longing for its taste more often. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself hungering for it all the time.
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