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Dec 1, 2009 06:26 PM

What's a "pork ham roast"?

This year I got a share of pork from our CSA. One of the cuts was labelled "pork ham roast". Does anyone know what this is? Is it the same as fresh ham? What do I do with it? I need help, or it will languish in my freezer forever.

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  1. Where I'm from we call it a fresh ham; you can roast it like any other large cuts of can also de-bone it and cut it into cubes for a stew or cut it into pieces to make cutlets..

    6 Replies
    1. re: Cherylptw

      You should call your CSA and get the name and number of the butcher who processed the hog. That information is freely given to any customer. Generally when you buy an animal or a percentage of one, you work with the farmers butcher to get the animal butchered to your specifications. A butcher who works for smaller farms is not bound by standard retail nomenclature, so they can call a snout a tail if thats what they want to call it.

      Also, a small farm may raise a breed of hog that is much smaller than a truck sized industrial breed. This means a cut you are familliar with from the Kroger may look completely different than you expected when it comes from a butcher not worried about producing perfect bits of pork eye candy.

      Buying animals from a small farm, and having them slaughtered and butchered to meet your needs is a process to learn over time.

      Mountaincachers, I'd suggest getting to know the farmer and butcher by phone. And in the future buy the portions you want, processed and labeled how you want. If this isn't an option, find another farmer. The butcher won't mind, he's going to be the butcher for your farmers neighbor too.

      1. re: Meatgarden

        Thanks for your help meatgarden. I actually cancelled my share with the CSA after a short time because:
        1. I didn't like not being able to change the amount of a particular cut that we were receiving, or even which cuts we were receiving.
        2. Our town finally got a great butcher shop with organic meats. Most of these are from local sources too. Now I can get the cuts/portions that I want, processed the way I want. I want to give them all of my business, so that they stay open.
        Nevertheless, I have this cut of meat in my freezer, and I hate to waste it. I may try to contact the CSA and see if I can get more information.

        1. re: mountaincachers

          mountaincatchers, my best guess from that label is you have either a picnic ham or a fresh ham. If it is small like an average roast(5 to 7lbs.) it is likely the picnic. That would be the lower portion of the shoulder which has a more ham-like quality than the upper "Boston butt" portion of the shoulder. If it is a rather large piece, say ten pounds or more, you likely have a fresh ham. This piece of meat uncured is really nothing more than a big hunk of bone in pork. My experience with small "picnics" from my local hog farm is they really don't have enough meat to be a roast. There is likely a bone and other non-edible bits making up a fare amount of its weight. I braise the picnic to render the fat and seperate the meat. Then shred to make tacos, panuchos, sandwiches etc.. If you have a fresh ham, without curing you really won't have a "holiday ham". Use instead as a large roast leg of pork. You can flavor any way you want since the "haminess" won't be there without a cure. I'd Google "picnic roast" and "fresh Ham" for ideas, just be careful about expectations with the picnic, it may be smaller than the recipe calls for.

          Of coarse the cut may be niether, in which case a 350 degree oven until 160 internal can't suck..

          1. re: Meatgarden

            I emailed the CSA and they reported that it was a "fresh ham". I would guess by the size of it that it is likely a picnic ham. It's not as big as Boston Butt that I have purchased before. I think I may go for slow cooking and shredding for tacos.

            1. re: mountaincachers

              To follow up...I wound up cooking the roast to make pulled pork sandwiches. There was a bone in it, but more meat than I thought there might be (enough for about 5 or 6 sandwiches). It turned out well. Thanks for your help.

              1. re: mountaincachers

                Fresh Hams are from the rear leg......Boston Butts are from the front.


      2. I have a piece of meat from a CSA share labelled "fresh ham roast." It is boneless and tied into a round roast about 8 inches long. My guess is that it is about 2 1/2 lbs. I have cooked fresh ham before but in those cses it was a large piece of meat with a bone in - like a ham but not smoked. Any ideas what I can do with this???

        1 Reply
        1. re: emilief

          Unless I'm making a ragu, I will always prefer to roast any pork at a low temperature for a longer time.....hence low and slow... over braising. It easier to control the texture of the meat and it makes it far more easier to make thinner slices without tearing apart or shredding.

          Sometimes less is more....roast with simple Kosher Salt and Fresh Cracked Black Pepper.....make Cubano Sandwiches.