Uncured Ham, Fresh Ham
- splatgirl Dec 28, 2011 02:13 PM
So I have a ham from an organic, pastured pig. It looks like it's the fat end and weighs eight pounds. It was processed by a small local butcher. The label says "Uncured Ham" but the ingredients list includes salt, sugar and spices which leads me to believe their definition of uncured ham means it wasn't cured with nitrate salts, vs it being an actual fresh(raw) ham. Is this correct?
It also smells like it was smoked or had a liquid smoke added, but the label doesn't say that. I assume that point matters since actual hot smoked would mean it's already thoroughly cooked, right?
Other than charcuterie and the occasional sandwich, I am not a ham person. I don't think I've ever purchased or made a ham of any variety so even after doing quite a bit of research, I'm still not sure what I'm supposed to do with this thing. The USDA definition of "uncured ham" is a fresh (raw meat) ham, which seems to be at odds with what exists in the marketplace. Now that I'm paying attention, all non-skank brands of ham say "uncured"--Niman Ranch, Beelers, etc. Even lunch meat ham like Applegate says uncured.
Does my ham need to be cooked like raw meat to internal temp of x vs. just heated up like a supermarket variety cured ham? If cooking like raw meat, do I do that low and slow or at 350, or what?
Most "fresh ham" recipes I found call for brining which seems weird to do to a product that has already been subjected to "salt, sugar, spices"...??
I was intending to cook/heat this in the indoor oven, but other options would be the gas grill or wood-fired oven. Suggestions welcome.