Everyone has their own special memory of the perfect ham. And if it’s a country ham, you’re one of the fortunate ones. Made popular in the South, the Smithfield Country Ham goes through a curing and drying process that gives it a distinctive, succulent flavor. If you haven’t cooked one before, or are ready to try it again, watch below and learn how...
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Preparing and Serving a Smithfield Country Ham

Everyone has their own special memory of the perfect ham. And if it’s a country ham, you’re one of the fortunate ones. Made popular in the South, the Smithfield Country Ham goes through a curing and drying process that gives it a distinctive, succulent flavor. If you haven’t cooked one before, or are ready to try it again, watch below and learn how easy it is to prepare. There are two cooking methods, so see what works for you. Then enjoy the hand-carved goodness.

There are two methods for preparing a Smithfield Country Ham
Preparing a Country Ham Using the Water Method

 

 

Preparing a Country ham Using the Oven Method

 

Instructions:

Wash ham thoroughly in warm water. Use a stiff brush to remove surface mold if present. This mold is in no way injurious. Aged hams, like aged cheeses, mold in the process. To reduce saltiness, soak ham in cold water for 12-24 hours prior to cooking. Changing the water about every four hours during soaking will aid in drawing salt from the ham. If a milder salt flavor is desired, soak ham for 36 hours. Cook your ham using the water or oven cooking instructions listed below.

Water Cooking (preferred method):

  1. 1.Place ham skin side down in vessel and cover with cool water.
  2. 2.Bring water to 190˚F (simmering, not boiling).
    • oCook approximately 25 minutes per pound or until 163˚F internal temperature.
    • oAdd water as needed to keep ham covered.
    • oWhen done, take ham from vessel. While the ham is still warm, remove skin and fat as desired.
    • oIf a sweet coating is desired, sprinkle the fat side with brown sugar and bread crumbs and bake in oven at 400˚F until brown (approximately 15 minutes).

Oven Cooking:

    • 1.Wrap ham in heavy-duty aluminum foil joining edges carefully and forming a vessel with the bottom layer. Add four cups of water within the foil and place in oven with a tray or shallow pan underneath for support.
    • 2.Cook by the following method:
    • oPreheat oven to 300˚F.
    • oBake ham for approximately three hours or 20 minutes per pound.
    • oUsing a meat thermometer, check for 163˚F internal temperature in the thickest part of ham.
    • oRemove ham and let cool to room temperature for one hour.
    • oRemove skin and fat as desired.
    • oIf a sweet coating is desired, sprinkle the fat side with brown sugar and bread crumbs and bake in oven at 400˚F until brown (approximately 15 minutes).

Suggestions for Carving:

Use a very sharp knife and cut very thin slices. With ham on platter, fat side up, begin slicing about two inches from hock or small end. Make first cut straight through to the bone. Slant the knife for each succeeding cut. Decrease slant as slices become larger.