Country ham is a ham that has been salt-cured and hung up to dry, sometimes for several months at a time. Unlike fresh or smoked hams, that can be cooked straight away, country hams must have the salt removed before cooking, or they may be to salty to eat. One way to cook a country ham is to boil it slowly. This helps to add moisture to a ham that might otherwise be somewhat dry.
Things You'll Need
- Country ham
- Large pot
- 1 cup molasses
- 1 cup fruit juice
- Meat thermometer
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Unwrap your country ham and run it under warm water. Use a brush to scrub any mold that might be on the outside of the ham. Mold doesn't mean that the ham is bad or spoiled, just aged, like cheese. Rinse off the brush so you can use it later.
Sit a country ham of your choice in a large pot and cover with cold water. Cover the pot with a lid and put in the fridge to soak overnight. This will help to soften the salt on the ham so it can be easily removed.
Take the ham out of the pot the next morning and dump the water. Run warm water from the tap over the ham and scrub it with a brush. This will scrape off the salt from the outside of the ham.
Put the country ham back in the large pot and fill with cold water until the ham is completely covered. Add 1 cup of molasses to the water so the ham will soak up a little sweetness. You can also add fruit juice or herbs to your water to boil the ham in.
Cook the ham on medium heat until it starts to boil. Scrape off any foam that forms on top of the water and throw it away.
Turn the burner down to medium and let the ham continue to cooking at a slow boil. The meat will need to cook for 20 minutes per pound. When your meat thermometer reaches 155 degrees Fahrenheit, the ham is done cooking.
Cool the country ham in the pot of water it was cooked in, until the meat is warm. Next, carefully cut the skin off, leaving ¼ inch of fat on the meat. Slice the ham, starting at the end where the hock is and cutting thin slices, across the grain. You can also put a glaze on the ham and bake it in the oven at a temperature of 400 degrees Fahrenheit, for 15 or 20 minutes.