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Jan 6, 2012 01:41 PM

Does ham fat have to be rendered to use it?

Had a baked ham for Christmas which was of good quality and had some lovely fat on the outside. I tossed it but am wondering if next time i could use it for something without rendering it. Don't care how easy anyone might say rendering might be, i just don't have the ambition to do that. An old rendering thread

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  1. I tried to render some fat from a Christmas ham, but the resulting oil was too sticky to use from all the sugar. The cracklings (the crispy cooked pieces of fat) however, were too delicious not to do something with. I sprinkled them over some sauteed kale, and the next morning put the rest on an eggs benedict. They were like crispy little bacon bits but with a strong mapley sweetness. All I do is chop the fat into tiny pieces, boil in a cup of water until the water disappears, then keep cooking until crispy. I know you don't care to hear how easy rendering is, but I don't want you to miss out on delicious cracklings.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Jeebs

      For non-rendering ideas, I'd chop it and saute with veggies like kale or collards, or I like the idea of cooking it into cornbread. I think I'll try that next time.

    2. Our Niman Ranch/Kirkland ham did not have much fat on the outside, wish it had more. I used it to season collards and hoppin' john, mincing finely and sauteeing in a pan. I also included the fat when I made deviled ham to give extra richness.

      Deviled ham: mince ham, onion , garlic & parsley. Mix w/ Duke's mayo, Fallot Dijon mustard, Worcestershire & chipotle adobo. #bestovers