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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?

asked by CaryNC over 6 years ago
6 answers 2763 views
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added over 6 years ago

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 ; )

73cd846c b69c 41fe 8f8b 7a3aa8dd3b93  desert
added over 6 years ago

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.

2b00435b fe24 44bb afe2 ad3364f28f79  1390710 10151917400148928 1193325941 n 1
added over 6 years ago

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!

B0f2c3df 9bf7 43fc 8544 eb75ba85a60e  kay at lake
added over 6 years ago

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.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added over 6 years ago

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!!

B0f2c3df 9bf7 43fc 8544 eb75ba85a60e  kay at lake
added over 6 years ago

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.

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