How to Buy a Daisy Ham

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Daisy ham cooks tender with flavor from the high fat content.
Daisy ham cooks tender with flavor from the high fat content. (Image: bhofack2/iStock/Getty Images)

Boneless cuts of meat rolled into a neat shape before packaging, daisy hams obtain their name from the daisy-like shape in the center of the cut. While the look and flavor of daisy ham is similar to a traditional ham, the cut actually comes from the front shoulder instead of the hind leg and rump. Daisy ham product labeling varies, so you might need help selecting the right cut when a recipe calls for daisy ham.

By Other Names

If you can't find a daisy ham in your supermarket, it is likely sold under a different name in your area. Other common names for this pork cut include Boston butt, shoulder butt, pork shoulder daisy butt and cottage ham. When packaged in tight plastic and wrapped with black netting, it's easy to mistake a daisy ham for a boneless ham from the other end of the hog.

Daisy Ham Sizes

Choose a daisy ham large enough to feed the number of people you wish to serve. Daisy hams range in size from about 1 pound up to 5 pounds for larger hams. Allow about 1/2 pound of cooked daisy ham for each guest, increasing to 3/4 pounds or even 1 pound each for guests with larger appetites. A 2-pound daisy ham can feed two to four people, depending on appetite size. The number of side dishes served with the ham also affects portion sizes. If you serve the ham with a large baked potato and a basket of bread, the ham will stretch farther than with lighter fare such as a salad.

Raw or Cooked

You can purchase daisy ham raw or already cooked, in ready-to-eat packages. The best choice depends on how you plan to serve or prepare the ham. For quick sandwiches, the cooked option works best because you can simply open the package, slice the ham and build the sandwiches. Raw daisy ham works best when part of a recipe in which other ingredients require cooking so the ham is done at the same time as everything else. With a cooked daisy ham, you risk overcooking the meat. For a traditional meal of boiled cabbage and daisy ham, go with the raw version.

Preparing Daisy Ham

Daisy ham is known for the thick layer of fat on the outside. The fat layer helps with slow cooking, basting the meat as the fat renders. The rendered fat drips to the bottom of the pan and is left behind when you transfer the ham to a carving board. To reduce the fat content with each slice, carve away the fatty skin layer before eating. When boiled in dishes, the extra fat content on the outside and within the meat might be excessive. The fat renders into the water, which can be unappetizing as it the dish cools -- the fat hardens, forming a casing of solid fat on the meat and vegetables. Trim the daisy ham of excess fat before cooking to help reduce the fat in the dish.

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