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Turning ham into turkey

greygarious | May 24, 201501:24 PM

My fridge and freezer are nearly full, so there is no room for the amount of split pea soup I'd have gotten from a large, meaty ham bone given to me a few days ago by a friend whose extended family's winter holiday plans changed so often that she wound up baking a ham on three different weeks last December. She told me that there was a lot of meat remaining on the frozen bone. I thawed it in the fridge, with the idea of reducing the stock to a few pints that I could freeze for future soupmaking.

I simmered the bone in plain water, for 8 hours - a very long time but I wanted maximum extraction of flavor, and it took time to reduce. I'll add mirepoix and herbs to the diluted stock when I actually make soup. Once I strained it, I saw that many lobes of lean meat had separated from the bone, fat, and gristle. Expecting it to be tasteless, I was surprised to find that, other than the somewhat pinker color, I'd have sworn it was braised turkey thigh.

Who'd a thunk it? Some hot weather is coming this week, and it will be nice for a cold plate, accompanied by potato salad, or for sandwiches. Never before have I noticed such a flavor transformation in meat - have you?

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