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Help buying Christmas Ham - Smithfield

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I wanted to ditch the Christmas dinner idea and go out. There are only buffets in this area and I can eat about $1.50 of all-you-can-eat. so I guess I am cooking.

Anyway, I am thinking ham. I am in PA, but had an Alabama relative (now deceased) who made the most amazing ham. At the time, she said buy Smithfield. I tried that and must have messed it up and it tasted soapy. What brand shoud I buy? I need tender and juicy. Cost or prep time is not of consequence. My back-up plan is prime rib.

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  1. I have bought Broadbent hams for 40 + years. They are KY hams, salt and sugar cured.

    I buy center cut cooked and sliced. Item 44 20 servings $53.90 plus shipping

    www.broadbenthams.com

    phone 1-800-841-2202

    It is too late to guarantee delivery by Christmas.

    Call them and maybe they can get a ham to you. check out the hams on line. You do not want the city ham. Good but not the great country ham taste. Grandma's sausage is great too. Well everything they sell is great. Hope you can get a ham to you in time.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Janet

      I have had country ham slices that I snagged on my way home from the south and they are too chewy, but delicious. If I but a whole country ham and take the time to soak and cook properly, will it be tender? I love the saltiness, but my tummy needs tender meat.

    2. I'm not sure you want a Smithfield ham, at least not a dry-cured country ham. That kind of ham has been heavily salted, smoked, and hung for a long time. The result is dry, salty, and covered with mold. Preparation involves scrubbing off the mold, soaking it in several changes of water, and then simmering for a long time - this removes salt and rehydrates the meat. The resulting flavor will be intense, but not necessarily juicy or tender.

      2 Replies
      1. re: paulj

        True, cooking a country ham is an art. It takes about a week from start to finish. That is why in my old age I buy them cooked and sliced.

        1. re: paulj

          Ditto to my reply to Janet. I love the saltiness of the country, but can I get it tender enough?

        2. See this Chow article on choosing a ham
          http://www.chow.com/food-news/100000/...

          1 Reply
          1. re: paulj

            Thanks! That is helpful. I am leaning to the smokehouse and hope it comes out like my aunt's. I don't remember her's being more salty than northern hams of my childhood, but it was meltingly tender.

          2. I am not saying Broadbent's hams aren't salty. But they are not as salty as other Brands of country ham. I love the lighter salty flavor. The texture is not like city ham. It is chewy, but wonderful. Very rich, the texture can burn out a home meat slicer, but who cares. As I said earlier, I buy it cooked and sliced now. This Southern Belle no longer has to prove she can cook a country ham. Been there, done that.