How to cook a Country ham

by admin on March 11, 2008

When cooking a Country ham thoughts of grandma in the kitchen shuffling in her slippers as the curtains blows gently in the breeze, and the smell in the kitchen will never escape my memory. She may even have had some big band playing in the background.
I have kept up with the tradition to this day. Anytime I bake a ham I have a CD of a big band playing and insist on opening the windows in my kitchen. You see my guests have always made comments about the flavor of my ham. I believe it’s the seasonings added to water when I boil the ham that gives it the unusual touch. The coating of white pepper also adds a new note. But I cannot overlook grandmas secret dark brown mustard sauce she made ahead of time which by the way kept very well in the refrigerator for a long time.

This next recipe comes directly from her cooking notes and I have been using this recipe for years. The things you will need are:

Ingredients for Grandma’s Country Ham
• A Large Hamm (With bone)
• White pepper
• Grandma’s mustard (I will give you that recipe.)
• 2 cups of granulated sugar
• 1 cup of apple cider vinegar
• 1 stick of cinnamon
• 1 dozen whole cloves
• 6 all spice berries.
• 1 cup of sherry
• Box of brown sugar (I like using the dark brown sugar)

Wash and weigh your ham to make sure you know the time frame for baking. Place in a large roasting pan with a lid. Fill the pan with water, place lid on tight, and put in the oven at 350 and cook for about 20 minutes per pound, turning the ham often. (Count the time after the water begins to boil, a tenderized ham will require only 15 minutes per pound for cooking.) When cooked, let it cool in the liquid. (You may boil this the day before.)

When cooked gently remove the top skin, being careful not to take the fat off with it. Place the ham in another pan and stud at intervals with cloves. Sprinkle liberally white pepper; then spread a layer of brown sugar all over. Pour 1 cup of sherry into the pan and place the pan, without the lid, in a very slow oven, about 250, for 1 hour. The slow heat allows the spicy flavor of the pepper to penetrate the meat. After ½ hour, gently baste the ham every 10 minutes with the gravy. Remove the pan from the oven cover, and keep hot on top of the stove with a very low heat. Use mats under the pan. The oven should now be free to take care of the rest of your dinner. Serve the ham with the mustard sauce, which also may be made the day before and refrigerated.

Mustard Sauce

Combine 2 teaspoon of dry mustard ¼ teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar, add 2 tablespoon of flour. Place in the top of a double broiler. Add 3/4cup of water and 2 tablespoons of heated vinegar, stirring as it cooks until it becomes a smooth creamy sauce. Then add 2 egg yolks, slightly beaten, and 2 tablespoons of melted butter.

When thickened, lift the pan from the hot water immediately to prevent the curdling of the egg yolks. When you are ready to reheat make sure the water doesn’t boil under the sauce.

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