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Jun 19, 2011 12:24 PM

Country ham in LA?

I am planning to visit my son in LA for July 4th, and I need shaved country ham for an incredible deviIled egg recipe served at JCT Kitchen here in Atlanta. (google it) Even here it is difficult to impossible to get thinly sliced country ham. Does anyone know where I might find it in and around LA?

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  1. When you say country ham, are you talking about a Smithfield ham? The kind of ham in its whole form that you have to soak in water for days to prepare it for cooking? If so, 99 Ranch Market has it as a whole ham or as individual slices. Their slices are substantial, maybe 1/4" or so. Don't know what you mean by "thin."

    It's possible that you can ask their meat department to slice some ham to your specs, but at most 99 Ranch markets, they have Latino or Asian meat guys, so hope there's no language barrier and a willingness to custom-slice for you.

    Don't know where your son lives in L.A., but 99 Ranch is a chain of Asian (mainly Chinese) markets. They are scattered throughout the L.A. basin in areas with a large Asian population.

    EDIT: Googled the recipe for the deviled egg, and yeah, you're talking about prosciutto-thin slices of ham. Why not use prosciutto or jamon serrano, or speck instead?

    99 Ranch
    17713 Pioneer Blvd, Artesia, CA

    4 Replies
    1. re: Professor Salt

      I thought of that too, but I need a smoked ham for flavor. I'll check out your recommendations of where to look. Thanks.

      1. re: Professor Salt

        "Why not use prosciutto or jamon serrano, or speck instead?" Those substitutes might work in the recipe you dug up, Salt, but the flavor of country ham is quite different.

        To the OP: It's hard to find salty, slightly tough, slightly bitter, completely delicious real country ham in Los Angeles, much less mild-tasting, high-quality Smithfield ham sliced very thin for that recipe. Here's an example of what you're up against: the Southern California breakfast places I've been to -- other than Johnny Rebs' -- with "country ham" on the menu are actually selling sweet ham cut thick to create what they imagine is a "country" look. (Anyone who knows an exception, please post, because the Johnny Rebs' ham is too porkly gross for even this son of the South.) The only whole Smithfield-style hams I've had in California were from the Bristol Farms grocery stores. You could ask ( ), but I haven't seen country ham at my local store recently, and, in any case, they're unlikely to have the very thin slices the recipe needs.

        Your best bet is to bring your own, and because Smithfield ham cut really thin loses its Virginia quickly, I'd get a chunk from your favorite source and, once you're out here, either hand slice or ask your son's butcher to slice it for you.

        1. re: Harry Niletti

          I was thinking that bringing my own might be necessary. As the recipe is from a restaurant near my home, I'm going to ask the chef whether he will sell me some. The deviled egg recipe elevates that old standby to new heights!

          1. re: aliza929

            You can order some thinly sliced country ham from Benton's online - I know it's not local and when purchasing it sliced it is significantly more expensive than ordering the whole ham, but I've not been able to find thinly sliced 'raw' country ham in los angeles.