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the search can't find ham?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
In any case, I have a new local supplier for porky products. He delivered to me, among other things, a full back and one ham. The backs I rassled with until I had several chunks of loin, a couple tenderloin, and a whackload of short ribs which were roasted and eventually became very yummy soup stock. It was exhausting.

Now I have this ham to contend with. I was lulled by grocery stores into thinking hams were of reasonable size, but this thing belongs on the set of the Flintstones. I'll be making use of it for all manner of things so I'm wondering what you think is the best way to cook it to maintain versatility. Should I brine it? Should I glaze it? Bake it? Boil it? I don't have a spit or a ground oven currently available, but it does (just barely) fit into my largest roasting pan.

:confused:

I thought before that when I used the search function I was trying to be too specific, and so wasn't having much luck. Today I typed in 'ham'. It found nothing. No posts. No threads. I'm so confused. ** so simple. :blush: Thanks for the tip, Suzanne ... four letters, duh :o **
post #2 of 14
Could be that a search term has to be at least four letters. Try searching on "hams" :o
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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post #3 of 14
I would brine and bake...or just season and bake. First night carve and eat all ya want, then portion out for breakfast steaks, ham casserole, and of course a nice bone w/ meat on it for split pea and ham. i also would place in the freezer any I wasn't going to use right away.
"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
Uh oh.

Is it true that once the meat has been frozen it wont brine? I thought I was being reasonable by letting it sit in my 'outside cooler' until I was ready to deal with it. It did freeze.

If I just season and bake it am I going to end up with a big honkin roast pork? :confused:
post #5 of 14
Am very confused here by what the US meaning of a ham is. (Sorrry Charron, I can't help until I am sure - we do stuff differently down under).

I'm going to sound like a real dummy here (not for the first time :) ).

In the US, is a "ham" just the cut of pork, i.e. like a leg of pork or shoulder for roasting, merely raw?

Or is it cured, smoked etc etc?

I just really don't know. So many recipes I see from the US and other areas call for baking and glazing a "ham".

Here it means a shoulder or leg of pork which has been cured and smoked, ready to carve and eat. With relish (of various types :D )

If anyone has a spare moment, a clarification would be really appreciated.

TIA -DC
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
I thought I knew what ham was but the more I look into it the more I realize I haven't got a clue. I've been apparently spoiled by the groceries and markets.

The 'ham' I have is the cut (hind leg, I believe), completely unprocessed in any way. A long, bleary-eye surf of the 'net has given me the impression that a ham doesn't become a ham until it has been cured, and in fact doesn't get its distinctive pink colouring until it has been cured because the pink comes from the mandatory red dye added to the sodium nitrate to distiguish its highly toxic self from regular salt. :eek:

There is a guy who quite proudly makes ham without cure, and admits that his 'ham' is tasty but grey. He says 'just close your eyes and savour the flavour'. I dunno that I could (or would want to) get away with serving grey ham to my customers.

It also seems that the curing process to make ham takes anywhere from 30 to 60 days, minimum, depending on who you quote, and for 'good' ham it takes considerably longer. Grey-ham-guy makes a batch of hams just after Christmas for the next year's Christmas. He uses the naturally cold weather to maintain a cool enough environment to make them...

And here I thought I just had to fuss over spices and cooking temperatures.... :confused:
post #7 of 14
Yep thats a raw pork shoulder. Sorry,i should have known that you got unprocessed meat. At this point i would put it in my smoker and turn it into pulled pork or you could do a nice braise/roast in the oven. plenty of meat for enchiladas, sandwiches, tacos and such.
"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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post #8 of 14
Google themeatman. Lots of great info about beef, maybe he addresses pork.
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
Can I still cure it after it has been frozen? It's a monstrous piece of meat that'll just fill up my freezer with pork (not that that is a bad thing; I love pork) but I also have a large garage sitting in the midst of a Canadian winter that might be ideal for the hamming process.

I do already have a bunch of loin chunks brining for peameal. I wonder, will they be far off from your average ham when they come out of the brine? Should I mix a bit of red food colour into the lot? :confused:
post #10 of 14
I suggest you send pm's to BDL, MaryB OR KYHeirloomer. They have all done th ecuring process or know about it, KYH for sure. Or start a new thread that isn't about a bad search and more about what you want. best of luck:peace:
"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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post #11 of 14
Ham comes from the hind leg, not the shoulder.

You can get a "picnic ham" from the shoulder, though. That's the lower part of the shoulder, below the boston butt. Taken together they're called "whole shoulder."

Ham can certainly be brined after defrosting. In fact, defrosting in brine is a very good way to go. I'm not sure about a long, dry cure. Freezing -- especially the way it's done at home -- creates ice crystals which traumatize the meat at a cellular level. While I think you could do a dry cure without any health issues, you're dealing with a product whose texture was already degraded so ultimate quality would suffer as well. That is, I doubt it would ever firm up quite as well as a never-frozen ham would. This would had have more affect on things like slicing than on flavor though.

That all sounds like I know what I'm talking about -- which is deceptive. At best it's an educated guess. I've never tried to slow cure a previously frozen ham.

My suggestion is put the ham in your brine still fully frozen, defrost in the brine and brine for a couple of days at least. An alternative to brining is injecting. I've never pumped a big ham like the one you have but would like to give it a try with some sort of fruit liqueur based injection.

Rub with either a wet or dry rub, then smoke to a "slice" internal of around 180F in a relatively slow, but not too slow, cook chamber -- say around 225F - 235F. Higher internals are for "pulled pork," and you don't want your ham to fall apart.

BDL
post #12 of 14
I second Gunnar's suggestion (hey my 3rd eldest brother has the same middle name).

What I envisage ham to be is cured, smoked, moister than but similar to products like proscuitto.

If it is uncooked pork, you could thaw it, cook it, then re-freeze. Have no idea about the curing, sorry. I would not eat grey ham either. Think churning stomach :)

You'll have to careful about defrosting such a monster, couple of days in the fridge at least.
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
okey doke, this puppy is gonna brine for a few days, including injection (makes my ma raise her eyebrows when I break out the syringes, and that alone makes it worth it :D ) and then get slow roasted off. I think it will be the biggest and most yummy failed experiment to date.

However, as stubborn as I am I believe I will order another one from my guy and take a crack at curing it properly. Now that I have a little bit of knowledge.... muahaha ha ha...

Thanks for all the feedback and suggestions. And yes, I will post under more appropriate headings in the future. I'll re-read the posts on cures again, then roll up my sleeves :smiles:
post #14 of 14
Ah, have faith in yourself, young grasshopper :bounce:
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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