I believe I have had fresh ham just once before but I remember it being very delicious. Since I am in a state many consider to be the start of the South (Northerners say Maryland is the start of the South; Southerners say it is the start of the North), I decided to try to track one down. Not so easy, my friend. This is fresh ham we are talking about, not smoked, not cured, and certainly not spiral-sliced. Fresh. So fresh the supermarkets don’t carry it. Even the Dutch Farmer’s Market, which I assumed would carry such a fresh-farm-feeling kind of product, needed a head’s up on the ham, so I ordered it last week and picked it up on Wednesday. It looks perfectly hammy! Imagine my delight.
This particular ham came in as a whole hind part, which weighed in at about 20 lbs. Impressive, but beyond my needs, so the butcher cut it in half for me. The cut in the photo above clocks in at about 10 lbs. — perfect!
Now I need to give some thought as to how to handle this ham-some specimen. (Sorry, had to!) I’m thinking I will certainly score the fat cap and stuff the slits with garlic, and roast it slow and low (thinking 325 degrees in the morning, pretty typical, or even 225 degrees overnight — is that crazy talk?!) but that’s as far as I have gotten. Thoughts?
The rest of the menu is going to be down-home-Sunday-supper: biscuits, scalloped potatoes, asparagus, roasted beet carpaccio with lemon caper dressing, and sweet potato pie. I may throw in a French Apple Tart for the practice. I did the tart in class a few weeks ago and was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it (above). I even considered dyeing eggs, not normally my jam, after reading an interesting article about organic egg-dyeing which my friends over at he TreesOnSanPedroStreetProject blog shared (read the article here), but I decided to get real: I just wanted the eggs for deviled eggs so why not just cut to the chase, right? So, scratch the dyeing, keep the eggs, and the ham plan is a work in progress.