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Mar 25, 2013 01:08 PM

So, I went a bit crazy and bought a country ham. . .

Maybe because my 15 year reunion at my alma mater is coming up (in a place known for its country hams), or maybe because I'm crazy, but I went ahead and ordered a whole (14-16 lbs) country ham from Scott Hams out of Kentucky. Actually, I ordered the "proscuitto style" ham, which has been aged longer than their typical hams.* So, now I have a country ham coming, and I have no idea what to do with it.

So, for those of you with experience with either country hams, proscuitto or jamon, how do you slice and/or serve your hams? What do you serve them with? I think I'm going to have to buy a ham knife, but do I need a ham stand?

*The cost per pound is ridiculously low. The ham, plus shipping, was $71, or about $5 per pound.

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    1. re: pRon

      Here's the link to Scott Hams. The pre-shipping cost was $57.50 for the proscuitto style ham.

    2. Slice paper thin, put on a biscuit or crustini, get a glass of grape, perfect!

      4 Replies
      1. re: cstr

        Should I get a ham knife or a ham stand?

        1. re: jmtreg

          I agree with cstr that you should treat it gently, not recook it, and serve it simply. I might add some cheeses to serve as a "palate balancer" or offer thinly sliced baguette,* but other than that . . .

          As to a ham knife or stand, they might be more of an investment than the ham, but if you're looking to impress, the stand, at least, will. Otherwise, I've used my filet knife quite successfully to thinly slice country hams like the one you, wisely, selected.

          *Hell, even the breads are optional.

          1. re: cstr

            Yes, on a southern biscuit sliced paper thin. Mustard is optional.

          2. We use ours in everything - as topping on pizza blanco, sauteed in butter and mixed with eggs, in sandwiches and biscuits. I am a big fan of Edward's boneless country ham. We went through two between Thanksgiving and Easter this year.

            1. I called them up and Jean was most helpful. Your style ham is meant to be eaten as is, but she likes hers warmed up a bit.

              Which means to me served with melons, stone fruit, and hard cheese if you want.

              Well done.

              Wadding up enough tinfoil will serve as a stand, and any knife that is long enough to cut in one slice should be enough. No reason to get the accoutrements unless this will be an ongoing occasion.

              I recommend the chrome ham bone handles. Sterling silver if it is in your budget.

              1 Reply
              1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                Most country hams are actually "ready to eat", but for some reason folks insist upon recooking 'em and increasing the salinity. There is a great discussion of the subject in the link I posted above.

                As to knife, I agree that any long blade will do, buy a thin, sharp blade will help make thin slices easier than say cutting with a chef's knife.

              2. As a born & bred Kentuckian, gotta ask: where's your alma mater?

                Treat it as the delicacy it is: thinly sliced, with no unecessary frou-frous. I'd do cat-head biscuits, melon slices, and something acidic to balance all the salt. While some claim the need to soak country ham, that's an abomination, IMHO.

                Unless you're going to be ordering often, why go the expense of the ham knife & stand?

                Happy eating!

                9 Replies
                  1. re: pine time

                    Also a born and bred Kentuckian...I received a ham stand ...and a ham!!!!... for my wedding registry. But it is not a necessity. I prefer a thin slice on beaten biscuits. If you are doing cats head biscuits make a little red eye to go with. I have learned since moving to the coast a little chopped into your biscuit mix is pretty tasty too.

                    1. re: LaLa

                      I'm curious, do you hold to the old time tradition of recookin', or do you just leave it on the counter and slice?

                      1. re: MGZ

                        Both. I prefer it slightly warmed, especially to get some lovely fond (which works great for that red eye gravy), but it's equally delicious at room temp.

                        And: if there's any appreciable fat, slice it off and add to those over-cooked-but-delicious green beans.

                        1. re: pine time

                          In terms of storage, as far as I can tell, I should cover the cut portions of the ham with some plastic wrap and/or a cloth.

                          1. re: pine time

                            But, to be clear, you don't recook the whole ham, right? Just take it out and slice. Maybe fry up a piece or two at a time?

                            1. re: MGZ

                              I am not going to cook the ham at all. That's why I got the proscuitto-style (which I suppose is extra aged) ham.

                              1. re: jmtreg

                                Good. That's what I've been suggesting all along. Also, that's what the link I posted explained. Recooking country ham is sinful.