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sliced country ham

Robert Lauriston Jul 10, 2012 08:27 AM

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?

  1. p
    pine time Jul 10, 2012 09:55 AM

    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. pikawicca Jul 10, 2012 10:02 AM

      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
        EM23 Jul 10, 2012 10:24 AM

        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
          Robert Lauriston Jul 11, 2012 12:08 PM

          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
            LaLa Jul 11, 2012 03:10 PM

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

            1. re: LaLa
              pine time Jul 12, 2012 07:28 AM

              lol...or send to me!

        2. re: pikawicca
          Robert Lauriston Jul 10, 2012 11:39 AM

          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
            Hank Hanover Jul 10, 2012 01:17 PM

            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.



          2. re: pikawicca
            jenkinstaj2000 Dec 23, 2013 06:52 PM

            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. a
            antepiedmont Jul 11, 2012 05:51 AM

            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. SweetPhyl Jul 11, 2012 10:36 AM

              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. Hank Hanover Jul 11, 2012 12:29 PM

                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
                  carbonaraboy Jul 11, 2012 05:57 PM

                  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
                    Melanie Wong Jul 12, 2012 10:03 AM

                    Yes, if it's a traditional country ham and cured over 10 months (some say six months), it's ready to eat.

                    1. re: Melanie Wong
                      jenkinstaj2000 Dec 23, 2013 05:49 PM

                      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
                        Melanie Wong Dec 23, 2013 09:10 PM

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

                  2. Robert Lauriston Jul 11, 2012 06:31 PM

                    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
                      pine time Jul 12, 2012 07:29 AM

                      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
                        Robert Lauriston Jul 12, 2012 10:52 AM

                        "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
                          carbonaraboy Jul 12, 2012 03:09 PM

                          "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
                        Melanie Wong Jul 12, 2012 09:57 AM

                        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.

                        1. re: Melanie Wong
                          Robert Lauriston Dec 24, 2013 09:51 AM

                          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
                            Melanie Wong Dec 24, 2013 10:10 AM

                            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
                              Robert Lauriston Dec 24, 2013 10:38 AM

                              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
                                Melanie Wong Dec 24, 2013 01:07 PM

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

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