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Jun 30, 2011 01:46 AM

Something similar to US Country Ham [moved from France board]

I traded family recipes with an American friend when I lived in the US, and I wanted to try to make her "Country Ham stuffed with Greens". I know some of you will be familiar with both traditional American ingredients and French ones. I've had Country Ham cooked for me before, and it seems like it's pretty much crudo or jambon de pays. Could I substitute a french jambon de pays and follow the directions? If there are significant differences between the two, what are they?

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  1. Jamon serrano, prosciutto crudo, country ham, and jambon bayonne are, as you've divined, all in the same family of dry-cured pork products. The only difference I can think of with country ham is that it is sometimes smoked after being dry-cured, but AFAIK it's fine to substitute, although I've never subbed for a whole country ham before, only slices or lardons (which I freely substitute for the European varieties since they're prohibitively expensive in my neck of the woods).

    1 Reply
    1. Could you outline the recipe? Many recipes for American country ham call for scrubbing the mold off the outside, and then soaking to remove excess saltiness.

      In the US, Chinese groceries often sell whole or sliced country ham. Apparently it is use like Chinese hams to flavor stock.
      In this recipe, after soaking, the ham is simmered 2 hrs, then stuffed with greens (in slits), wrapped in cheese cloth, and simmered another 2 hrs. Finally is cools in the broth, and kept in the fridge overnight or longer.

      That's a far cry from reverentially slicing jamon serrano for tapas. That's why I think an outline of the recipe is a more valuable guide than ham names in different countries.

      3 Replies
      1. re: paulj

        That's a good point. The recipe is follows.

        A 12-pound country ham.
        8 pounds mixed greens (watercress, collards, mustard, spinach)
        5 red chilis
        5 stick celery
        5 sticks carrots
        Equal amounts salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, mustard powder, allspice, celery seed, Louisiana hot sauce.

        Soak the ham for 3 days, changing the water every day. Scrub off the mold and skin. Drain the ham.

        Boil the greens, then mix with the seasoning.

        Cut slits along the bone, on the top, right, bottom, and left. Once at the butt, once in the middle, once at the end.Stuff all the greens in the slits. Tie up the ham in cloth. Put in a pot and just cover with water. Simmer for 3-4 hours, then let cool to room temperature before taking it out of the liquor. Slice off the bone. Serve the liquor with bread, corn bread, rice, etc.

        1. re: tmso

          This looks like the same dish as the recipe you posted. The purpose of the exchange was less finding a recipe, so much as knowing what dishes to make.

          1. re: tmso

            Before following this recipe in any detail you would want to inquire as to whether locally available hams need this type of treatment. It reminds me a bit of ham cooked in hay, which I believe is an old European practice.

            A search on 'ham in hay' gave this
            It alludes to differences in American hams. The Smithfield (Virginia) style requiring the longer soaking, presumably because it is more heavily salted.