If you’ve purchased a Whole Country Ham from our online store or Hams & Jams Market, here’s how we recommend to prepare it!
Our special dry curing process allows our country ham to keep for months without refrigeration. We recommend hanging your ham in a cool, dark place for optimal storage. Our ham is aged 6-9 months, which creates a robust flavor sought by country ham connoisseurs. These hams are not tenderized or pre-cooked – just country cured, smoked, and aged. Due to aging, your ham will have some mold on it; you may also notice white specks throughout the meat. This, in no way, affects the quality of the meat, but rather indicates proper aging and is often preferred by many connoisseurs.
Boiled Country Ham: Clean ham with hot water and stiff brush to remove mold. If mold is very heavy, scrape with a knife. Put ham in lard can or turkey cooker, hock end up, and cover with cold water. Put on stove and bring to a boil. Boil hard for 20 minutes. Remove from burner and place lid on lard can or turkey cooker. Wrap can securely with anything that will retain heat, such as a burlap sack, blankets, or fiberglass insulation. Be sure top and bottom of can is covered. Leave ham for 24 hours. Remove from can. Remove skin and excess fat as desired. Use your favorite glaze, and put in a moderately hot oven to brown. For added flavor and beauty, coat the ham with Loveless Cafe Peach Preserves and garnish with whole cloves.
Baked Country Ham: Clean ham with hot water and stiff brush to remove mold. If mold is very heavy, scrape with knife. Ham may be soaked in water overnight to help reduce salty taste. Cut off about 3 inches of hock. Hock may be used for seasoning when cooking other foods. Weigh the ham in order to calculate cooking time. Rub ham in spices or score with whole cloves, and then cover with brown sugar or pure honey. Place ham in aluminum foil in cooking vessel. Inside the foil, pour one-quart water, ginger ale or other liquid around the ham. Crimp foil tight with double fold and bake 30 minutes per pound at 250°F or until center of ham registers 170°F on a meat thermometer. Take out of oven and leave in foil until cooled to room temperature. Discard liquid at the end of baking period. Remove the skin (easier while warm). Ham may be glazed after removing skin. Coat with Peach Preserves and garnish with whole cloves. Place back in moderately hot (400°F) oven just long enough to get golden brown or about 15 minutes.
Frying slices: Heat skillet to 350°F on medium-high heat. Add 2 Tbsp. cooking oil to reduce sticking (optional). Sear ham by frying vigorously for 2 minutes each side.
Water Cooking: Place ham in roaster (for oven) or pan (for stove-top). Fill to within 2 inches of top with water. Insert meat thermometer into thickest area of ham and simmer at 350°F until internal temperature reaches 158°F.