Southerners usually fry country ham slices to serve for breakfast or supper. A smaller slice of fried country ham is often placed between a split biscuit and served as a delicacy known as “Country Ham Biscuit”. A boiled whole or half country ham is usually served for large family gatherings such as Easter, Thanksgiving or Christmas. Boiled country ham is often served between a biscuit or roll at parties.
There are many, many recipes for cooking country ham. Most folks usually fry country ham slices or boil a whole ham or half of a country ham. Country ham slices can also be baked. If you don't have a favorite recipe of your own, may we suggest the following? They are simple and we guarantee them to please.
FRIED COUNTRY HAM
1. Ham should be sliced approximately 1/4 of an inch thick.
2. DO NOT trim fat off of slice before frying - it will fry itself. Add no shortening.
3. Put slices in medium hot, heavy skillet, fry 1 minute per side.
WARNING: Do not over fry, as it will become hard and dry. Actually just heat thoroughly.
SLOW FRIED COUNTRY HAM (We recommend this method) illustrated instructions
1. Slice country ham about 1/4 inch thick.
2. After allowing skillet to warm on low heat, place slices in skillet, cover with a lid and cook for about 10 minutes, turning often (when frying 1 - 2 center slices or 5 - 6 sandwich / biscuit slices).
3. What's left is the redeye gravy fixin's.
REDEYE GRAVY-after country ham is fried
1. Remove ham to a heated platter. Add 1/2 to 3/4 cup of water to the juices in skillet. You can also add 2 tablespoons brewed coffee to the juices, if desired.
2. Increase the heat to moderate and simmer 3 to 5 minutes, stirring until gravy is reddish.
3. This is the redeye gravy. Pour it over biscuits and the ham.
GRILLED COUNTRY HAM STEAKS
1. Slice center part of country ham 1/2 inch thick or more.
2. DO NOT trim fat off of slice before grilling.
3. Grill over low to medium heat about 5 minutes each side (maximum).
WARNING: Over cooking will make the ham saltier and chewy. Actually just heat thoroughly. Thinner slices can be grilled, but they must not stay on the grill as long.
SLICED COUNTRY HAM-BAKED
1. Wrap slices with aluminum foil so that the natural juice will be saved for gravy.
2. Sprinkle slices with brown sugar (optional).
3. Place in pan and cook in oven for about thirty minutes at 350 degrees.
BOILED COUNTRY HAM – whole or half ham illustrated boiling instructions
illustrated boiling instructions for Boneless Center Section
1. The country ham has lost a considerable amount of moisture--so we like to simmer--instead of bake.
2. Cut off approximately 3 inches of the hock, which can be used to cook with beans, etc.
3. Weigh the ham and place in vessel large enough to be completely covered with water. Soak the ham in cold water 12 hours. Drain and replace with fresh water. Bring to a boil, then turn heat down to JUST SIMMER and cover with a lid. Let the ham simmer 20 minutes per pound. DO NOT BOIL--just simmer--this is important. Consider simmering 15 minutes per pound if boiling half of a country ham or the boneless center section.
4. After cooking, remove the vessel from the stove and allow ham to cool in water in which it cooked. Remove rind, wrap the ham in foil paper and place in refrigerator to get cold before slicing. It is better to cook the day before serving in order to chill for slicing.
BAKING – Whole or half country ham
This is really a modified version of the basic recipe for boiled country ham. If the ham is molded, scrub thoroughly with a brush and warm water. It may be necessary to remove the hock to allow the ham to fit in the roaster. Soak the ham for 12 hours in cold water in a vessel large enough to completely cover the ham.
Place ham (skin side up) in a deep open roaster. Roaster should be deep enough for water to completely cover the ham. Pre-heat oven at 350°F, add hot water to within two inches of top of roaster containing ham, cook for 10 minutes at 350°F then reduce heat to 250°F and cook for 20 minutes per pound.
After cooking, remove from oven and allow ham to cool in water in which it cooked. Remove rind, wrap the ham in foil paper and place in refrigerator to get cold before slicing. It is better to cook the day before serving in order to chill for slicing.
OPTIONAL INGREDIENTS TO ADD TO WATER WHEN BOILING COUNTRY HAM
1. 1 cup molasses and cover ham with water, or
2. 1 (64 ounce) bottle apple juice, or
3. 1 cup vinegar and 1 cup brown sugar, or
4. 1 (64 ounce) bottle of cola
OPTIONAL GLAZES TO USE WITH COUNTRY HAM
1. PINEAPPLE AND BROWN SUGAR
After ham has cooled in water in which it was cooked, remove the rind from the ham and slash the fat. Mix one small can crushed pineapple and 2/3 cup brown sugar until smooth. Pour over fat of ham, then garnish with one small can of slice pineapple and cherries. Bake in a hot oven (400 degrees) for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
2. HONEY GLAZE
1/4 cup orange juice; 1/4 cup honey; 1 teaspoon prepared mustard.
Remove skin from cooked ham, slash fat, mix ingredients, brush over ham and broil fat side up 14 to 15 minutes.
3. BROWN SUGAR AND SHERRY GLAZE
Remove skin from cooked ham. Sprinkle fat with ground cloves. Combine brown sugar and sherry, brush over ham. Bake 425 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes or until coating is golden brown.
4. GINGER ALE AND BROWN SUGAR GLAZE
Remove skin from cooked ham. Place in roaster, fat side up. Bake at 325 degrees for1hour basting frequently with mixture of 1 cup ginger ale and ham stock. Remove from oven. Cover with a paste made of 1 cup of brown sugar of 1/2 cup molasses, 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon dry mustard, and 2 tablespoons water. Dot with cloves. Return to oven uncovered and bake 30 more minutes.
5. CRANBERRY GLAZE
2 dozen long-stemmed cloves; 2 (2 pound) cans jellied cranberry; 1 cup brown sugar.
Remove skin from cooked ham. Score fat with sharp knife, stud with cloves, place in baking pan. Crush cranberry sauce with a fork, combine with brown sugar. Spread one-half of mixture over ham. Bake at 350 degrees, basting with some of remaining mixture. Heat remaining mixture and serve as sauce over cooked ham.
SERVINGS: Allow about 2 to 3 servings per pound for a dinner in which the ham is the only meat. Traditionally, there is usually at least one other meat. You will get 20 or more, small ham biscuits per pound of meat.