Comments on: Country Ham Fantastica: Our Hams’ Place in the World http://www.cookingissues.com/2010/10/28/country-ham-fantastica-our-hams-place-in-the-world/ The International Culinary Center's Tech 'N Stuff Blog Thu, 09 Jan 2014 18:17:16 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 By: davearnold http://www.cookingissues.com/2010/10/28/country-ham-fantastica-our-hams-place-in-the-world/#comment-43027 Tue, 07 Jun 2011 04:00:40 +0000 http://www.cookingissues.com/?p=4837#comment-43027 You didn’t ruin the Ham KatyHP. Depending on how you wrapped it the surface might be tack and need to be trimmed off. Weird surface mold (of the not good kind) might have grown on the outside, etc (I have had all this happen), and aromas from the fridge might have permeated the fat. If the ham is whole, scrub it down to rinse off the surface mold and give it a sniff. If it smells like fridge you’ll need to trim off a bit off the outside (don’t trim too much! just enough to get past the fridge taint). If the ham has been cut already and you have any fridge mold (normal country ham mold is blackish or whitish, fridge mold can be real bloomy white, like brie, or green), trim it off (again don’t go crazy).
Best place to store a ham that you don’t want to age anymore is in the freezer. I used to store mine hanging in the kitchen, which is great, until you get attacked by beetles (which happened to me once) or mites. Mites can go crazy on an unattended ham in a cupboard –take it from me.

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By: KatyHP http://www.cookingissues.com/2010/10/28/country-ham-fantastica-our-hams-place-in-the-world/#comment-35950 Fri, 27 May 2011 16:56:45 +0000 http://www.cookingissues.com/?p=4837#comment-35950 I have a question and am hoping you can give me an answer. I received a country ham for a Christmas gift. I was told you can store them almost indefinitely. So I put it in my refrigerator. Now I’m told they should be stored in the cupboard. So my question is, did I ruin it by storing it this way and have I stored it to long? Any answers would be appreciated. Thanks KHP

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By: davearnold http://www.cookingissues.com/2010/10/28/country-ham-fantastica-our-hams-place-in-the-world/#comment-15853 Thu, 24 Feb 2011 23:22:36 +0000 http://www.cookingissues.com/?p=4837#comment-15853 I don’t have the info on me Jonathan, but the author to look at is Fidel Toldra. His old book (the only one I have of his) is called Dry Cured Meat Products. I think he has a new book. His old numbers on American hams are a little strange if my memory serves me, but Sam Edwards saw him speak a while ago and says Dr. Toldra knows what’s up.

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By: Jonathan M. Forester http://www.cookingissues.com/2010/10/28/country-ham-fantastica-our-hams-place-in-the-world/#comment-10425 Mon, 06 Dec 2010 19:40:10 +0000 http://www.cookingissues.com/?p=4837#comment-10425 Dave, can you send me some info on the humidity and temp. that the different styles (American vs. European) of curing experience? I have been doing some curing, and I just put together a curing box, and am working on temp. and humidity control. Right now I’m working on fermented style sausage like soppressata and dry cured braseola, but plan to age some small heritage breed hams soon .

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By: Nicole http://www.cookingissues.com/2010/10/28/country-ham-fantastica-our-hams-place-in-the-world/#comment-10331 Sun, 05 Dec 2010 03:56:12 +0000 http://www.cookingissues.com/?p=4837#comment-10331 oooooh what an amazing gift. Get a ham stand and spanish knife.

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By: Hamish http://www.cookingissues.com/2010/10/28/country-ham-fantastica-our-hams-place-in-the-world/#comment-10259 Thu, 02 Dec 2010 05:39:27 +0000 http://www.cookingissues.com/?p=4837#comment-10259 Thanks Dave, yep we did use nitrites in a “Wiltshire” inspired brine! We are also toying with the idea of cooking the ham’s in cider…will aim for 60 then!

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By: davearnold http://www.cookingissues.com/2010/10/28/country-ham-fantastica-our-hams-place-in-the-world/#comment-10242 Wed, 01 Dec 2010 14:18:27 +0000 http://www.cookingissues.com/?p=4837#comment-10242 Howdy Hamish,
Did you use nitrites? If you did, 60C is a great temperature for ham. How long it cooks depends on the thickness of the ham. This is one case where I’d actually use a thermometer. Pull it after it gets to 60 at the core (I’d let it ride a little longer just in case).

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By: davearnold http://www.cookingissues.com/2010/10/28/country-ham-fantastica-our-hams-place-in-the-world/#comment-10241 Wed, 01 Dec 2010 14:15:28 +0000 http://www.cookingissues.com/?p=4837#comment-10241 Howdy Slkinsey,
Johnston County Hams are made in Smithfield North Carolina (if my memory serves me right) and are sometimes marketed as Smithfield hams, which I find hilarious. I don’t know anymore, but the last time I checked their cure master was Rufus Brown (I think). Rufus was a master at getting hams to age relatively quickly without case-hardening. He’d get a ham as dry as a normal 9 monther in about 4-5 months. I’m not going to say anything negative about his ham –it tastes good (way better than an actual Smithfield), but not as good as if it had been aged longer. You can accelerate drying, you can even accelerate aging somewhat by manipulating temperatures, but you can’t truly fake age. The other problem with the fast aged hams is they tend to be more difficult to slice raw and the slices don’t stay in top condition as long (I don’t know why).
That said, I have eaten plenty of Johnston county ham raw. I would cut off the aitch bone with a meat (or hack, or better yet band) saw, then cut off the hock side at the knuckle and carve out the bone in the cushion. That’ll let you cut the ham on a meat slicer. Otherwise you can trim off the skin in the area you are going to slice, put the bone-side down on the table in a clamp and make horizontal slices through the cushion of the ham with a slicing-knife Spanish-style.
Tell me how it goes.

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By: Hamish http://www.cookingissues.com/2010/10/28/country-ham-fantastica-our-hams-place-in-the-world/#comment-10239 Wed, 01 Dec 2010 11:36:45 +0000 http://www.cookingissues.com/?p=4837#comment-10239 Hi Dave,

Loving this site and podcasts!! I am cooking in China, and my buddy and I have had some pretty big pork legs (around 11kg/pc), and they have been brining for about 18 days which is the right amount of time from our calculations. We are now thinking of low temperature cooking these bad boys for “insurance” from spoilage or anything nasty. Could you give me an internal temperature plus maybe guide to temperature and times for achieving this!

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By: slkinsey http://www.cookingissues.com/2010/10/28/country-ham-fantastica-our-hams-place-in-the-world/#comment-10224 Tue, 30 Nov 2010 23:23:26 +0000 http://www.cookingissues.com/?p=4837#comment-10224 I have just been gifted a 13.5 pound hickory-smoked country ham from Johnston County Hams. Should I be ecstatic?

Also, what’s the best way to slice these bone-in hams for eating raw?

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