Reviews my recent posts….. counts… woo hooo, I can do a food post again. *gets all excited*
what? well we have to eat.
So what is it today? chocolate coated asparagus with cream of leak sauce?
Oh I don’t like that, it is too salty.
Then you are cooking it wrong, so follow along. This is what we will have Sunday at the cottage, Megan is already drooling.
We choose the hams with the bone in them still, not those processed ones that sort of taste like ham but are shiny (omg, they aren’t faucets you know).
So get a very big pot. Rinse off the ham and put it in the pot, see? easy so far.
Now, put in as much water as you can, try to cover the ham or at least 2/3’s of it. If you can’t.. you didn’t read step one and I am concerned at your being able to follow along…. *points up*.. “get a very big pot”
…just in case you haven’t figured this out yet, we are going to be cooking this.. so if the water is at the edge of the top of the pot… or very close to it… there is going to be a mess… and I am not cleaning it up.
In the water, put in a few tablespoons of pickling spice, some cloves if you have them, some onion powder is good too and thyme.
Turn on the burner, get the water boiling and then reduce to where it is just barely boiling. Put on a lid or cover it with foil. Leave the lid on an angle or vent the foil so the steam can escape. If the water doesn’t cover the ham, I rotate it every 20 minutes or so.
I let it simmer/low boil for about 45 minutes, then I dump the water and put in fresh with more pickling spice, cloves and onion powder.. yup, thyme too.
Then I let it simmer until it is cooked, I can’t tell you how long, each ham is a different size. About two to three hours or so. It also depends on how hard a boil you have going. You can slice into the middle to see if it is cooked.
About an hour into the cooking, I chop up some garlic, three or four cloves and toss them in the water, top it up as it boils off. Keep it covered as much as possible.
By this time you need a fly swatter.. because Aimee and Jill and Megan will be sneaking into the kitchen to slice off a piece to see how it is doing….. and points out.. that is my job…
Some hams are pre cooked some raw, so the temperatures will be different for these. Raw you should heat to 170, cooked 140.
So why boil the ham?
It keeps the meat so moist, reduces the salt a lot and draws flavour from the meat and bone spreading it through the entire ham. You can flavour the broth and this flavours the ham…. and the broth.. makes the best soup stock ever. I don’t keep the first bit that I dump, I find it too salty. But the second one is great, I strain it and put it in the freezer, the next morning scrape off the fat on the top and keep the broth. You can dilute it when you make a soup as the flavour is so intense.
The broth makes the best barley soup. If you all behave I will tell you how to do this later, so keep the both in the freezer until then. No cheating.. I will know.