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Hickory smoked ham...butt or shank?????

I have never purchased or baked a ham. I went to purchase a hickory smoked ham, fully cooked. They are cut in half, the butt or the shank.....what is the difference and which one is better?
Also, it didn't come with any glaze, what glaze would you make that would be nice with the hickory flavour. Lastly, if anyone can tell me exactly how bake it and when/how to glaze it etc...I would greatly appreciate all suggestions. Thx and a Happy Holiday.

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  1. I personally and this is my preference would be the shank It does though tend to be fattier.The butt maybe easier to slice .Same flavor??? I like the extra fat ..........leftovers are cooked with eggs

    1. The butt portion is the best....less waste...more meat....best value...etc.
      The ham probably is cooked already...You are just heating it, but read the directions on the label and follow them. ~~~ I double smoke hams, and if I glaze I do it toward the end to prevent it from burning ~~~ . Brown sugar, honey, maybe a little bit of pineapple juice works well for me...

      Have Fun!

      1 Reply
      1. re: Uncle Bob

        Their are not instructions on the pkg. It is approx. 8 lb butt piece. Should I put the ham on a rack in a low baking pan maybe add some water in the bottom? Heat at 350F for approx 1 hour then add glaze and con't for another hour? Should I turn broiler on at the end to brown the glaze? Sorry for all the questions, but I really don't have a clue about hams. Also is a sweet glaze more appropriate for a hickory smoked meat?? Thank you

      2. The Butt and Shank both come from the hind leg. You can get Butt, Shank or Whole portions. As the others have said, the Butt portion is best for meat slices....but both are good. Depending how many you expect to have at the dinner table, you may want to consider the whole hind leg. Smoked Hams are very inexpensive in the supermarkets and the meat and bones freeze well for future recipes, e.g., soups and beans.

        If you want to make a pan sauce, add two cups of water to the pan and cover with foil tightly for the first two hours of reheating at a lower temperature. Remove the ham and apply the glaze in a new pan and roast at a higher heat for your glaze.. You can make your pan sauce from the bits and liquid reserve from the first pan......

        20 Replies
        1. re: fourunder

          fourunder, thank you for the info. Just a few more questions, if you don't mind....
          1. Should the ham for the first baking be in a deep roasting like pan?
          2. And water or is there some other type of liquid that would be nice?
          3 Cover with foil tightly and roast for 2 hours at a low temp. What is a low temp? 275F?350F?
          4. Does the ham for the 2nd be in a shallow like pan? And what kind of glaze? Sweet/Savor?
          5. Roast at a high heat...what is a high heat, 450F? 500F?
          6. How would I make the pan sauce? Do I add other liquids ie: wine or just reduce? A roux? cornstart?

          Lastly, if you have any glaze recipes, please share...Sorry for all the question. We Italian don't really do hams and it's for the IL.....Thanks again

          1. re: heylids

            heylids,

            good morning....and here you go....

            1. The roasting pan or pyrex dish should have a side no less than 2 inches, but not greater than 3 inches. You can place directly into the pan or on a wire rack, tightly foiled. For the last ham I did, I placed in a pyrex dish, with two cups of water. I reserved the liquid from the bottom of the dish for a soup starter. If you plan to glaze, I would use a metal pan and place on a rack, due to the fact of the higher heat blast for browning.

            2. As others have suggested, you can use soda and reduce later for a sweet sauce/barbecue sauce. In the past for barbecued ribs, I have uses Coca-Cola, Dr. Pepper and Root Beer. Most people could not tell it was the foundation, but they all enjoyed it. You could also use a bit of wine(red or white, sangria and etc.), but I would not.....I do not feel it would add to my enjoyment of the ham, as I would use mustard myself in the end. the wine would be wasted. You could also use any variety of fruit juices or nectar.
            Some suggestions.....Apple, Grape, Cranberry, Pineapple, Peach Nectar or Apricot Nectar. The latter two I would dilute with water.

            3. The temperature for me would depend on the time I am allowing for it in the oven, based on the oven time I may or may not need, for anything else I have planned for the day's menu. For any holiday roast, I always plan on taking the main feature out of the oven an hour before serving to rest......I always over cook and make the largest roast possible, with the exception of turkey, no half hams for me, so I would take the ham out in the morning at least 3 hours prior to placing in the oven for a 2-3 hour warming @ 225-250. 275* is fine, but I would not do 300* unless I was pressed for time. The higher the heat, the easier it is for you to dry the meat....this includes the high heat blast, which i will address shortly in sequence. The variable of size should factor in to you plans for reheat. With a half ham, you'll need only the shorter time, and another 15-20 minutes for the blast.....3 hours total time cooking, assuming you will remove the ham from the fridge earlier in the day. Low and slow roasting needs patience, but the final product is well worth the wait. I roast Prime Rib, Turkey and Pork exclusively with this approach. Plan accordingly.

            4. The second phase of glazing can go into any pan or durable cookie sheet. You could even use a saved aluminum foil pan, stabilized with a sturdy pan underneath if you wanted to reduce your cleaning.....extending the thought, I would suggest you cover any pan you use with foil to reduce the elbow grease needed for the day later. The high heat blast will make the drippings turn black when they rest on the pan. You will not have any collection of fluids...as they will dry up in the high heat , so the side lip is not important. Any durable sheetpan will suffice, half inch or full inch side. i would not recommend one of those Ekco type cookie sheets if you have an alternative.

            With reference to the glaze...sweet or savory, I suspect most would prefer a sweet to offset the saltiness of the ham. My brother always glazes his hams...but he also always burns and dries them out. I cannot convince him the virtues of low temperature roasting and patience. I'm not really a recipe guy, i.e., following it step by step. I'll use it for reference and a foundation. In the past, My sweet glazes would come from a combination of the following, but always include Brown Sugar, Honey or Molasses.

            Crushed Pineapple
            Apple Sauce
            Apricot or Peach Jelly
            Grape Jelly
            Cranberry Jelly
            Pineapple Slices

            Or anything resembling the above that I want to clear out of the refrigerator.

            5. I suggest you use 450* for 10-15 minutes, possibly 20 or as need to your preferences. The ingredients you use will caramelize at different rates of time.

            6. You could do any of the three....but for ham I would probably use the cornstarch. Poultry I do a roux,...... Beef, I like to reduce wine and finish with butter here's a link that will address the compliments of Coffee...

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red-eye_...

            I believe I addressed the recipe, sort of, in my ingredients list above

            Should you need any further assistance, please feel free to check back in.

            f.

            1. re: fourunder

              fourunder, you are wonderful, very detailed and at last I feel I have a handle on this ham.
              We are also haveing turkey, so I purchased a half, butt end. I am thinking of placing the on it's flat (slicing) side for the glazing part of the process. This way the entire ham will be glaze. I am thinking brown sugar and apricot jam, heat then add cornstarch if it needs it. Brush all over outer sides of ham and blaze with heat.
              Once again, thank you for the detailed steps, it is greatly appreciated.
              Happy Hoiday! H

              1. re: heylids

                For your first attempt, I would suggest you reheat at the higher 275*, even up to three hours. The higher heat will extract more liquid goodness from the ham than a lower temperature would. You'll notice the difference in the thickness and consistency of the liquid in the bottom of the pan when you remove the foil.....this will make a better and more flavorful pan sauce for you.

                1. re: heylids

                  h,

                  BTW, it was not addressed, but if you plan on glazing face down, do so with the warming phase as well. I recommend a rack for both phases so the meat doesn't sit in a pool of water.

                  I would also make an diamond crisscross pattern with a razor blade, set at approximately 1/4 - 1/2 inch depth 1/2 - 1.0 inch spacing....done before you do the first warm up phase. this will allow you a nice surface for your glaze to adhere to and the finished roast will look more attractive and impressive. The deeper the depth, the wider the space.....or just do 1.0 inch. either will be attractive for presentation.

                  1. re: fourunder

                    Fourunder, I was going to rack the ham through the whole process, at the glazing stage I was going to place it in another pan without any liquid at the bottom and then brush the glaze over it, I like the crisscrossing idea. So, I'm guess that the whole outer side of the ham should be done...? I know my husbands family doesn't like pineapple and so I wasn't go to stub it with cloves and pineapple. But know I'm thinking maybe just a few cloves studs would look pretty. I will crisscross all the outer ham and make sure it's on a rack and the pan is lined with aluminum,...without liquid at the bottom for the glazing process.
                    Once again thank you fourunder for helping me feel more comfortable about this ham process...oh, I also found this glazing recipe from Ina Garten,,,,what do you think???
                    http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/in...

                    Oh, also noticed KmCarr's comments, should I return this on and get a shank...I don't think they have centre cuts...is they do, maybe that would be even better....decisions decisions....can't wait for this ham delemma to be over with!

                    1. re: heylids

                      So, I'm guess that the whole outer side of the ham should be done...?........But know I'm thinking maybe just a few cloves studs would look pretty.
                      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                      There's no denying any amount of glaze will add a level of sweetness to the ham, and I think the cloves will add to the decorativeness and presentation......The outer skin and bark are generally perceived as the prize of any roast, so the more the better. I would suggest you visit Google and type in *Smoked Glaze Ham Images*,....it will give you some visual direction.

                      http://www.google.com/search?client=f...

                      With regards to Ina Garten's glaze recipe....I like it, but I question the inclusion of garlic. I wouldn't add that myself.

                      1. re: fourunder

                        f, that's interesting, I wasn't going to put the garlic in either. As for the cloves, do you stud it before baking or after. I'm thinking that it maybe too clovey if it's baked with all those studs??? I was also thinking of putting some of the juices from the pan on the side if anyone wants some liquidy gravy...
                        f, you have been extremely helpful, know I appreciate the time you have taken to help me out. h

                        1. re: heylids

                          First, you are very welcomed.....

                          I'm not a clove fan, so I wouldn't use it myself......however, if you intend to use it, go for it and stud it before. I do not think you could impart so much spice it ruins the ham.

                          If I intended to use it for decorative purposes.....I would boil the studs to death and implant them after the first bake, and before glazing. If you are looking for another spice for decorative purposes....Star Anise may be worth considering

                          These thoughts come from my commercial presentation mind.....not my tastebuds.

                          1. re: fourunder

                            f, I have star anise, whole, would you stick them in up right? Maybe a better questions is, what would you use to decor. the ham? Or should I even bother with decor.
                            LOL, I have never had to ask so may questions about cooking before, this is what happens when you go right out of one's cultural know how. Must admit, other then feeling really stupit, I am enjoy all this knowledge and communcation.
                            With you commercial presentation, you dishes must look stunning!!

                            1. re: heylids

                              Although I have worked in the food industry for a long time and can appreciate the creativity and skills of many in the kitchen......artful presentation has its time and place. I really am amazed at how easily it comes to someone like Martha Stewart for ideas and apparent application, on Television at least, but when I'm home, I prefer the rustic approach to cooking and not into garnishes for decorative purposes.....other than to put a little contrasting color on the plate. Too many aromatics do not work for me.....and I like the less is more approach. My basic concept of preparing dishes is, three ingredients. Anything more is overkill and cannot be appreciated. I always find it funny when a TV chef looks into the camera and tells you with every move you make with additions of salt and pepper at each stage creates another level of taste and flavor. My palate is not that sophisticated.

                              Since this is your first attempt with the ham, I would recommend you let the ham shine on its own with the glaze you mentioned earlier. There's no reason to stretch the limits and create a slight chance someone might find something that is not agreeable to their taste or nose. You most certainly could decorate with the cloves and star anise for effect after it comes out of the oven.....after all, it is the Holiday Ham and decorations are festive. As I mentioned earlier, I really don't follow recipes, but I use them as a foundation. Every year I flip thought the food magazines and they have all these great ideas....but at his stage in my life, I really hate to shop for things outside of the norm (for me), and have to search for ingredients...thus the rustic approach....Restaurants need to separate themselves from their competition....Thankfully I do not have to do that at home....

                              Every Easter and Christmas the family expects a Prime Rib Roast. Over the years I have done Italian seasonings, roasted garlic crust, horseradish crust, Cajun Seasonings and etc.......nothing beats simple Kosher Salt and Fresh Cracked Black Pepper. This year, I was able to secure a great buy on Whole Tenderloin of Beef, so I purchased two and will serve them instead of the Traditional Standing Prime Rib Roast......Rolled and Tied, with a Kosher Salt, Garlic and Black Pepper Crust served with a Horseradish Cream Sauce.....Traditionally, most would high heat roast, but I like to experiment with different temperature cooking, and see how the family likes the results. I intend to slow roast at 250* for about 1.5 hours......let rest for 20-30 minutes....return to the oven for a high heat blast for 10 minutes at 450 or 500, I have not decided on that quite yet.

                              Btw....I have enjoyed this exchange as well.

                              1. re: fourunder

                                Ditto fourunder, generally speaking I too don't follow recipes. Coming from an Italian background, we like our food clean and flavourful, letting the main ingred., shine. I'm not big on fancy looking dishes, rustic for me is appealing and comforting. Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper are the basis for most all dishes and never never heavy garlic. Don't know why people think Italians are big on garlic cause most are not...
                                I love your menu!! I too prefer a lovely Prime Rib Roast, which is what I do when hosting the event. 2 years ago I made a Whole Tenderloin and slow roasted, it was mouthwatering. I did give it a slight blast of heat at the end just to have that perfect colour on the roast. I noticed you rest your meat first then blast it, I have never thought of that, is there a specific reason for this method? I do like to rub some dijon mustard, something I picked up from Anne Williams, she was on Martha Stewart and created a complete Prime Roast Beef meal which I recreated and it was delish...
                                As for the ham, I am ready and feeling comfortable about the entire process
                                THANK'S TO YOU....you truly have been a blessing, you have not left a stone unturned and I am feeling confident and excited about this ham...quite a turn around from that dreaded feeling I started with.
                                Once again, thank you and a Wonderful Holiday Season to you and your family.

                                1. re: heylids

                                  I met a chef / instructor who put away the oregano and garlic powder so NOT to have his students mess up the Italian dishes he had assigned.to them. " Keep it simple "

                                  1. re: heylids

                                    With regards to resting meat with a Standing Prime Rib Roast, assuming you hit your target temperature, then brown at the end and take out of the oven to rest for 20 -30 minutes, then slice, .......... or hit your target temperature, remove from the oven and rest it for 30 minutes or longer, then return to the oven and finish with the high heat blast....The results will be similar, e.g., you have a roast that's medium-rare temperature throughout. But, by experiment with different methods, I have found that removing the from the oven and allowing it to rest for up to an hour, then replacing back in to the oven for a 10-15 blast, covers and achieves the following:

                                    * Due to problems getting the food menu on the table, you run into problems with timing and food becomes cold. This allows for more room for error to address the other items. It's easier to guarantee all the food is served properly hot.

                                    * Allowing the roast to rest my preferred 60 minutes in between, I can control the serving temperature instead from cool.....to warm or even hot.

                                    * Last year' Christmas, I only rested for 30 minutes, but I found the roast still bled more than I would have liked. This past Thanksgiving I adjusted up to 60 minutes and I found the roast did not bleed at all. .. just the right amount of juice on the plate.

                                    The difference between the two methods is this. The target temperature. In the first, where you high heat blast, take out of the oven and rest for 15-30 minutes, slice and serve......., the target temperature is approximately 122-125, then the high heat blast which brings it up over 130-135* Very nice, a little more bleeding than....

                                    Hitting 118*, resting for an hour....which brings the temperature up to 125-128*....then the quick bast which heats the meat to a hotter serving temperature(to touch and mouth)...and over the 130* mark.

                                    In the words of Eddie Murphy from Trading Places.....

                                    Merry New Year ! ! ! ....and I'll add a Happy Christmas too! ! !

                                  2. re: fourunder

                                    f, I followed your instructions and the ham came out perfect, it was moist the glaze was lovely and the outside had the bark you had mentioned earlier. Once we carved and plated the ham, I added some of the liquid. Everyone enjoyed it and all took some home! It was easy, easy and stress free thanks to you.
                                    Know...if you have any suggestions and instructions as to what to do with the leftover ham and juices, I will give that a try.
                                    BTW, how was your whole beef tenderloin?

                                    1. re: heylids

                                      I'm glad your Holiday ham turned out great and was a success......however, you are being too kind giving me any credit. Hams and pork (fresh hams & shoulders) are easy to prepare in general...maybe I just helped steer you in a direction to help you with your confidence and allow your skill to come out.

                                      I generally only have four uses for leftover (cured) hams...

                                      * Sandwiches
                                      * Ham and Cheese Omelets
                                      * Soup
                                      * Snacking Late Night In Front of the Fridge

                                      I have been known to use them for beans and fried rice in the past. Maybe you could use them in Carbonara, Mac & Cheese, Ham Salad, Cordon Bleu or a Stuffed Pork Chop.

                                      My Whole Beef Tenderloin had a few unexpected detours. Dinner was supposed to be @ 2PM, however my brother was on call for the hospital and he got called in......not returning until near 6PM. I originally planned to slow roast @ 225* for 90 minutes to hit 118*, .....but before then, I had found out my brother's need to leave .....and I dropped the temperature below 200*, when the meat temp was @ only 95*....and held it @ 140* for over 4 hours. I checked the meat temperature a few times, but it never hit the 118 mark remained constant @ 95*. When I found out dinner was to be serve roughly @ 6PM, I increased the temperature to 250* @ 5 PM for a half hour.....remove, rested for 20 minutes and gave it the high heat blast @ 500* for 12 minutes. It was a little under medium rare, cool in the center, but nevertheless very tender. Not perfect. If I had to deal with the same circumstances again, I would continue heating until it hit the first mark......hold in the oven at the lowest temperature possible, and move into a preheated oven for the blast.....more along the lines of a catering method .......I realized delaying hitting the mark altered the heating process, which I suspect stopped cooking the meat. The long holdover also caused the outer meat to resemble a jerky dry texture. Others liked it, but I did not.

                                      Chalk up another learning experience for the future.....

                                      1. re: fourunder

                                        f, sorry to hear about the changes, the beef still sounds like it came out nicely, though I can understand your disappointment with the outer meat. I myself have had the same experience with an eye of round, inside is a nice medium rare but the outside dried and jerky like. I suspect it was because I browned the outside first on top of the stove and then roast in the oven. I don't know where I picked up on browning first then roasting... never thought of roasting first, then resting and then blasting with heat for colour. I am assuming you turn the meat so that all sides gets a nice colour....I assume this also cuts down on the meat bleeding when cut...that is a problem I seem to run into...must be doing something wrong....
                                        BTW, I picked up this tip, where you first salt an eye of round for 24 hours and then roast, apparently is like brining and keeps the meat moist. Do you think there is any truth to this and if so, could one use any cut of meat and make it more moist? Or is it just cuz eye of round doesn't have any fat? An old friend of the family once said she learned from a commerical chef that roasting a roast the night before and then wrapping the roasting pan in newspapers and placing it in the cold cellar overnight allows the meat to come to a perfect internal temp. I guess then she would slowing reheat in the oven so that the roast is warmed through. Have you ever heard of this?
                                        Either way, you have given me some great tips on roasting meats.
                                        Thank's! h

                                        1. re: heylids

                                          Searing the meat produces a crust.....I believe the leathery dry jerky result is caused by prolonged low dry heat and dehydration.

                                          Bleeding will always be evident to some degree......rare temps have less.....medium-rare and medium more so, medium-well and well ...there's nothing left to bleed. The only thing that will reduce bleeding when meat is cut is a cool down for a rest period. Time allows the juices to redistribute.....the longer the rest period the better....but there is a point where the meat becomes too cool or cold for proper serving........in a case as such.....it's best to give it an hour and then reheat for 10-15 minutes from my experiences.

                                          I don't think in general, dry brining will ever make beef more moist.....marinades will help, but ever so slightly. The only thing I think that keeps meat moist and flavorful is natural marbling.....which by default means better cuts. Pork and Poultry are good for wet brining to add moisture.

                                          That salting method for the Eye Round is essentially the Cook's Illustrated method everyone seems to rave about. I'm not a fan of eye round myself.....the process of salting for 24 hours makes the meat more flavorful and palatable, but it doesn't make the meat more moist. As I understand it, the salt pulls the moisture out to a degree, but then after an amount of time, the meat pulls the moisture bake in. The key is the saran wrap which allows the moisture to be captured and allowed to be reintroduced back into the meat from all sides. Leaving it on a plate will not.

                                          Commercially or personally, I would not do what your friend suggested. It sounds like a technique a chef would use to have many things on a menu available, but not have enough calling to make it nightly, e.g., Prime Rib. It's the reason, most restaurants only have Roast Prime Rib Nights on weekends or special nights. The chef your friend knows would cut a slice of beef and reheat it covered in lettuce, so as not to burn the meat under the broiler and try to hold onto the color.......okay for the home, but professionally, the method is antiquated.

                                          1. re: fourunder

                                            That's interesting, I will have to try the lettuce reheat. As for the eye of round, I do sarah wrap it and it does turn out moist and juicey. I have even sliced it thin when partly frozen, then stuff, roll and then toothpick them. Brown, then add some wine and they turn out beautifully. I have been asked to bring those to many potlucks.
                                            Nothing beats a good Prime Rib Roast or as you said a well marbles piece of meat.

                                            1. re: heylids

                                              When I reheat a piece of Prime Rib or Prime Steak.....I take the meat out of the fridge for about an hour prior and allow it to warm @ room temperature. From the fridge, the meat is firm when you press into it......I preheat the oven at 225* for 15 minutes......Then I then place the meat in a simple fry pan and stick it in the oven to warm, first check is at 15 minutes.....and then at 5 minute intervals until the meat is warmed and soft to touch. At this time, any fat will have melted, and indication it is good to go.......the meat still retains it's original cooked temperature.

                                              I find this method is a lot easier than sticking it in a Zip-Lock Bag and immersing in water heated to 140* with Boiling water added periodically for 30 minutes as suggested in other threads.

              2. I like to reduce some Coca Cola and glaze with that.

                5 Replies
                1. re: wekick

                  I add strong black coffee and a chile powder maybe Ancho,Serrano,or Cayenne or leave it out and serve with a hot sauce on the side.

                  1. re: scunge

                    scunge, do you mean, you make expresso and then just baste it at high heat after the 2 hours, or are you adding it to the water at the first 2 hours of baking? Any other suggestions, recipes or tips are greatly appreciated.

                    1. re: heylids

                      Not really espresso but that'll work I guess? My morning coffee, one time I added some hazelnut flavored ..without an adverse affect If I have molasses or brown sugar a little gets added .

                  2. re: wekick

                    wekick, when you say, you reduce some Coca Cola, what exactly do you mean?
                    Take 1 can of coca cola and simmer it down to a thick syrup on the stove?
                    then brush it on and roast high heat? Do you add any thing else, and how does it taste with the hickery smoked flavour?? Any other tips you can share is greatly appreciated.

                    1. re: heylids

                      We used to take a can of coke and dump it over the ham and baste with it while baking the hame @ 325 like my grandmother did but but now I usually pour some out of a 2 litre botlle and reduce it about half over med heat just to thicken it a little. I still pour it over the ham and baste with it the same way, it is just a little more concentrated. This is for a whole bone in ham that I have cut in three pieces. I have the shank(small end) cut off and then the main part cut in half. It makes the bone easier to handle for soup. I don't add anything else and like the spice from the coke with any kind of ham. If I were making a smaller ham or boneless, with less cooking time, I would reduce the coke a little more. I don't add anything to the coke but you sure could. Scunge do you add coffee to coke?

                  3. If you're a follower of Alton Brown, his claim is that the shank, while more difficult to carve is tastier with less waste. The butt has a lot of that white connective stuff.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: CocoaNut

                      Alton actually recommended the shank portion because it was EASIER to carve than the butt. He acknowledged that the butt portion may appear easier at first glance, but it contains a fairly complex skeletal structure which includes the femur, aitchbone and associated hip joint. The shank portion contains a single bone running down the center of the meat. The photo shows ham portions with their underlying bone structure.

                      However this does not apply if the butt end has been partially deboned, removing the aitchbone and only leaving the head of the femur in place.

                       
                      1. re: kmcarr

                        Kmcarr, great comment and the photo is really helpful, if I exchange the butt for the shank should I purchase a large piece to make up for the loss in meat? and any suggestions as to how to carve would be great. thank's heylids

                        1. re: heylids

                          Heylids,

                          You can watch the whole Good Eats episode on youtube. It's divided into two parts, each part being ~10.5 minutes long. Here are the links:

                          Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mr0OJy...
                          Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLVBmM...

                          In part 1 he covers some basics about selecting a ham, including a comment on butt vs shank. He also discusses the difference between city vs. country hams (I am almost positive that what you have is "city" ham). Then he demonstrates the cooking and carving of a whole country ham. (There is ~3 minutes of goofy stuff at the beginning which you could probably skip.

                          )

                          In part 2 (after finishing carving the country ham) he prepares a city ham (shank end) including the diamond cross-hatch cutting, proper time & temperature for reheating and building a "crust" using his grandmother's recipe. He briefly shows how he carves it at the end but there are several equally good ways to carve a ham.

                          The videos are very informative and don't take too long to watch.

                          As to whether or not to exchange your ham, I'm not sure I would worry about it that much. You can prepare the butt end in an much identical fashion to the shank end. Yes the carving may not be quite as neat and easy but if the ham is delicious I'm sure your guests won't complain.

                          Best of luck, and please report back. I'm sure it will be a success.

                          1. re: kmcarr

                            k, great links, that Alton really knows his stuff. Thanks for your help. h