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Mar 15, 2011 08:55 AM

Where should I buy a ham?

I need a ham for about 10 people for this Saturday. Where should I go?

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  1. I'd order from Nueske's, never found anything half as good around here.

    11 Replies
    1. re: GretchenS

      Second on Nueske's. I just ordered pork from Snake River Farms this morning. Kurobata style. Pricey, but amazing:

      1. re: scotty27

        I hear they have Snake River Farms ham at Formaggio.

        1. re: StriperGuy

          They're too overpriced at FK..:)

          Seriously, I bought American Waygu Beef from SRF and it was fantastic.

          1. re: StriperGuy

            I have SRF ham quite often (serve it for staff meals), and it's nice, but not mind-blowing by any means. I'd say it's on a par with North Country. Their pork is decent for fans of Berkshire, but I smoked a butt side by side with duroc last summer and preferred the latter by quite a bit - for both porkiness and abundant fat. The SRF bellies are great, though.

              1. re: scotty27

                You're making me excited for the mangalitsa collar I have coming tomorrow or Thursday.

                1. re: almansa

                  Where did you buy it? How will you cook it? I'm thinking a pan sear or grilled followed by a 200 degree braise for many hours.

                  1. re: scotty27

                    I'm restaurant industry, so I got it from my purveyor. I also ordered strip loin, tenderloin, belly and butt. I was going to do a 200 degree roast over hardwood for many hours after an overnight cure. With the next one I'll make coppa.

                    1. re: almansa

                      Very cool. I get some good cuts at Tropical Foods in Dudley, too--For lowdown, backyard fun.

                    2. re: scotty27

                      Is a collar the same cut as a butt or shoulder and if not, is it cooked in the same way - low and slow?

                2. re: almansa

                  Yes, that is more what I have in mind, thanks.

          2. I love Niman's Jambon Royale from WFM! And never use exclamation points. It's rather dry and tastes great. And for more of a city ham I'm a fan of Vermont Smoke & Cure, also available at WFM.

            4 Replies
            1. re: almansa

              I was just served the Niman's Jambon Royale by a family member and agree its nice. I find a lot of their stuff on the lean side and its leaner than European hams, but overall it had more marbling than I expected and had a nice fat rind on it. I think it was purchased from Russo's which would probably be more economical than WFM, but give them a call before making a trip. Formaggio has some wonderful boiled hams too.

              I am guessing the OP is looking for something along the lines of almansa's suggestions, but if you are looking for a dry cured ham there are some other options. Lord Jeff's in Newmarket reguarly has country ham (not from a boutique producer), Courthouse Fish Market right now has 2 portuguese-style presuntos (dry cured and smoked, with a heavy amount of paprika) which are a good size for your group (smaller than I have bought from them in the past), and for a domestic proscuitto Market Basket has been carrying Vlado's which is decent (made in RI with Iowa hogs). The country ham obviously has the easiest step to something to serve for a crowd, the others you'll have to slice very thin to serve raw and get a bit inventive from there to use more parts of the ham but that can be the fun part of it.

              Courthouse Fish Market
              484 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02141

              1. re: itaunas

                where can you get iberico bellota, besides Formaggio?

                1. re: barleywino

                  Las Ventas in the South End, not certain where else beyond there.

            2. These guys sell and ship amazing country hams at VERY reasonable prices:


              2 Replies
              1. re: StriperGuy

                If only the OP didn't have to get a ham for this Saturday! Otherwise IMHO this is the Holy Grail of country ham:


                Otherwise I'd punt for city ham, currently the Niman ham from WFM works for me.

                1. re: marais

                  I've heard of Benton's, have you tried Col. Newsom's which I posted above. How do they compare?