Crooks Corner (Chapel Hill, NC) Corned Ham
I discovered a new treat this weekend that I enjoyed so much I feel compelled to share with the group.
The corned ham on the menu at Crooks right now is a work of porcine art. It is utterly simple in design and execution but easily the purest expression of porky goodness I've had in years.
In his preparation, the ham is salted for a few weeks, soaked, stuffed with winter greens and roasted. The serving is thick, gray slabs of pork (75% meat, 25% cured, unctuous fat) with a side of collards and mashed potatoes. I know Crooks gets slammed on here because it isn't "fine dining", I agree that it can be inconsistent, and this dish isn't a "fine dining dish" but it is pure pleasure on a plate.
I love that Crooks is casual enough that the only person who cared that I was finishing up the cooking liquid that the collards came in with a spoon was my mildly embarrassed wife (who should be used to it by now).
I had the corned ham at Crooks on Saturday night. Absolutely loved it! There's nothing to add to your review - you described it perfectly. Crooks is not fine dining - I like the casualness and that feeling is shared by many others. It's one of the consistently busy restaurants in town. And, it was just this weekend I noted how their menu is so economically reasonable - again, it's just a all around great neighborhood place - and I'm glad it's in my neighborhood.