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Great Country Hams & A Cooking Recipe Too

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Great Country Hams & A Cooking Recipe Too

raleighfoodlover | Dec 16, 2003 08:15 AM

Don't know how many of you are country ham fans, but for those that are, there is a place you must try a ham from. It is called Johnston County Hams, and is located in Smithfield, NC (NOT related to the Smithfield VA mega producers). This is a family owned & operated business with fantastic products! You may call them at 1-800-543-HAMS (4267) or use their web site: www.countrycuredhams.com . They will ship anywhere, and it is well worth trying.

I found a recipe several years back in the magazine "Our State, Down Home in North Carolina", a wonderful monthly publication dedicated to all things North Carolina. This ham has become a holiday tradition at our house, and we also do one once or twice during the year. Although the recipe is mainly time consuming, it is fairly simple. For those of you willing to give it a try, you will find it is well worth your time. I hope you enjoy it as much as we have. Happy holidays, chowhounds.

In my own words, "Baked Country Ham"

1 whole country ham, shank removed, 6 cups of apple cider, 4 TBSP of light brown sugar, 4 TBSP of ground dry mustard, 4 TBSP of cornmeal, and the reserved cooking liquid from the ham.

Soak the ham from 12 hours up to 3 days, changing the water 3 or 4 times daily to remove saltiness. After each soaking, scrub the ham well with a stiff bristle brush before placing back into fresh water.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees, place ham in a roasting pan (with a lid) on a rack. Pour the cider over the ham, cover pan & place it in the oven. Set a timer for 25 minutes; after 25 minutes, turn the oven off. Wait 3 hours, then turn oven back on to 450. When the oven reaches 450, set the timer again for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, turn the oven off, and leave the ham in for 6 - 8 hours or overnight. DO NOT OPEN the oven door during this time. After this time has elapsed, remove the ham. Trim off the skin layer, and just a small layer of fat; you want to leave as much a fat layer on the ham as you can. Prepare the glaze for the ham by combining brown sugar, dry mustard and cornmeal with some of the pan drippings and cider that remain. This should form a paste, and you want to spread it over the entire ham. Preheat the oven to 375; place ham in a clean roasting pan & set in the hot oven for 20 minutes. This ham may be served either hot or cold. Serve in very thin slices. To store any leftovers, wrap them in parchment paper, and re-wrap in foil. Do not use plastic wrap. May be stored either in refrigerator or freezer.

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