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sliced country ham

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Friends who were visiting Virginia brought us a package of Foothills sugar cured country ham, center biscuit cut. Half a pound, maybe 4-6 thin slices. No cooking instructions. How do I cook it? Boil? Pan-fry? Both?

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  1. I'm not familiar with "sugar cured" country ham. If it's the traditional, salty country ham, others may disagree, but this Kentuckian would never boil country ham. I always pan fry. Once some of the fat renders & the ham is brown, remove. You can add a bit of coffee to the pan drippings for some red eye gravy (grandma added a touch of bourbon, too).

    1. Country ham sold sliced is almost always already cooked. Read the package info carefully. That said, if you do cook it, fry, don't boil

      7 Replies
      1. re: pikawicca

        +1
        But if you want to double check, here is their contact info: Foothills Country Hams
        Greg Pardue, President
        Steve Edwards, Vice-President
        P.O. Box 595
        Jonesville, NC 28642

        (336) 835-2411

        1. re: EM23

          Thanks, I got a call back and they said just to warm it up in a frying pan or microwave, not to cook it too much or it would get tough. But it looks so raw I'm dubious about that advice, especially given the two comments below about simmering / poaching it.

          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            another Kentuckian chiming in...that is the way it is suppose to look gently warm. EAT

            1. re: LaLa

              lol...or send to me!

        2. re: pikawicca

          This is not ready to eat, my friends got a package for themselves, couldn't figure out what to do with it..

          There are no instructions on the package.

          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            It is sugar cured. People usually cut a thick slice or two off and fry it up with some red eye gravy. but if they are thin slices, putting it in biscuits for ham biscuit sandwiches would be traditional. You could serve them with eggs and some white gravy if you like.

            Here are some links to videos on curing ham.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9ae7D...

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6LHOp...

          2. re: pikawicca

            country ham is not already cooked...it is cured only...you have to cook it by heavy fry pan or broiling it in the oven on both sides...you can boil it but that's not worth a damn that way...My grandfather was a hog farmer...I know what I'm talking about...all these people on here are saying its already cooked don't know what their talking about

          3. I used to eat those biscuit slices all too often. I don't treat them with as much respect as I offer to a full ham. I simmer them in a little bit of water and then brown as the water boils off. Then -- get this -- I make a SICK egg mcmuffin with sliced medium cheddar and one over-medium. It is heaven.

            1. I've bourbon poached mine, thrown it in a food processor with butter and more bourbon and made THE BEST ham salad you've ever had. Have mercy!

              1. It's cured over several months the way people have cured ham for centuries. It is ready to eat.

                4 Replies
                1. re: Hank Hanover

                  Yes, it is dry cured just like Prosciutto or serrano ham. However, unless you get it sliced paper thin like these others, it is best to give it a gentle heat up in a cast iron skillet just for a little extra flavor.

                  1. re: Hank Hanover

                    Yes, if it's a traditional country ham and cured over 10 months (some say six months), it's ready to eat.
                    http://www.chow.com/food-news/53482/d...

                    1. re: Melanie Wong

                      it is not ready to eat...you people are nuts....you have fry it, broil or boil but it is not ready to eat

                      1. re: jenkinstaj2000

                        Guess you didn't bother to read the article I linked nor my earlier post in this thread.

                  2. My friends just warmed it up and said it was way too salty, said if they could do it again they'd soak it. Which is what I expect from country ham.

                    8 Replies
                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

                      That's why I was puzzled that the OP wrote "sugar cured..." All country ham I've had was salt-cured, with a very dry and salty finish, which I find irresistible.

                      1. re: pine time

                        "Sugar cured country ham" is what it says on the label.

                        I'll try a little piece just warmed up and judge for myself whether it's too salty. Maybe I'll make those Scott Peacock buttermilk lard biscuits.

                        1. re: Robert Lauriston

                          "Sugar cured" means that sugar was used in addition to the salt. Believe me, it's the salt that does the curing.

                      2. re: Robert Lauriston

                        I suspect that they're not used to the taste of a traditional country ham.

                        Those little packets are called biscuit slices. You can just griddle them or add a little water to a frying pan if you want to be sure they don't dry out. My friends made 'em for me with red eye gravy when I was in North Carolina. With a biscuit and some eggs, the natural saltiness fits right in.

                        Here's the old discussion on the SF Bay Area board when Slow Food brought Benton ham biscuits to San Francisco and how much the local 'hounds delighted in the unadulturated taste of an unsoaked, just warmed on the griddle ham. Soak if you must, but do give the ham at least one try in its natural state as its maker intended it.
                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/553332

                        1. re: Melanie Wong

                          This stuff was not like Smithfield or other country hams I've had, or for that matter any ham. Instead of being dry and firm it looked sort of raw.

                          I've forgotten what I did with it.

                          1. re: Robert Lauriston

                            Previously, I'd only been served country hams that had been soaked and cooked. They were firmer and tended toward dry.

                            The raw biscuit slices look raw because they are, and the challenge in heating them is to not dry them out. To me, the appearance is not unlike a slice of raw prosciutto.

                            1. re: Melanie Wong

                              Smithfield-type ham sliced paper thin and served on a hot biscuit is seriously good. Looks very much like good Iberico ham, though it's much dryer.

                              The stuff my original post above regarded was too soft to slice thin.

                              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                Oh, I assumed you got a packed of biscuit slices, that is, country ham pre-cut into thin slices.