I bought a whole old style air cured Country Ham. It was cured for 9 months with only salt and brown sugar (no nitrites/nitrates). I know Country Ham can be really salty so I want to figure out how to cook it so it's not overly salty and also such that I can save small portions for seasoning (e.g., in green beans, soups, etc). Any ideas?

  • Posted by: CaryNC
  • October 28, 2010


Kayb October 28, 2010
If you're going to portion it, if it's feasible, I'd soak only the portion I was going to cook fairly soon. The salt cure will just keep the remainder in its original condition, and you can soak it when you get ready.
CaryNC October 28, 2010
I thought I would soak it (15lb whole ham) in water for 2 days with several water changes. But I think I will do a 50/50 mix of water/apple juice for the last soak or two per "Kayb" which should remove some saltiness and add some sweetness. I was also told to consider baking it with a 2 litter of Dr. Pepper or apple juice in the pan. I may have to buy a vacuum sealer so I can portion it out and freeze the left overs for later use. Thanks!!
Kayb October 28, 2010
I have really good results soaking my country ham in a 50-50 mixture of apple juice and water. 24 hours in the fridge, changing the soaking liquid once or twice, usually works well.
Mr_Vittles October 28, 2010
Try using the ham instead of salt! Mince it or small dice it up into cubes and freeze them for when you need them. I don't eat a lot of country ham, but when I do buy I buy it a similar size as you describe. The saltiness is an inherent problem, but as long as you use it as a replacement to salting things, maybe adjusting seasoning later, you'll be okay!
anyone October 28, 2010
Foodshed Foodshed go away, We don't like business's here anyway, come back as a person some other day, this is a food forum not a way, to promote your business here today.
RavensFeast October 28, 2010
The first time I tried country ham, I puckered...so salty I couldn't figure out what the deal was! Then I learned that you need to soak it, which went against all prior wisdom (soak meat?!). But it's true. Once you leach some of that salt out and prepare the ham, the flavor will be exactly as you had in mind; rich, sweet with beautiful nuances of flavor. I ran across this tutorial that may help you:
And if you just want to get all excited about your ham, Salon put out a great article on the subject that had me salivating ; )

Recommended by Food52