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Old 11-10-2019, 04:26 PM   #1
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Default Smithfield Country Ham Preparation

Born and raised in central VA, I felt it was only natural to do a proper Smithfield Country Ham for Thanksgiving this year for my coworkers and friends who will be coming to my place for their feast this year here in Seattle, WA. I bought one of these: https://www.smithfieldmarketplace.co...m/country-hams

How do ya'll like to prepare these? I know I'll have to soak it for ~24 hours to draw out the salt, but was thinking about using my smoker instead of the oven for cooking it. I was planning on soaking it in water for 24 hours, changing the water every 6 hours or so, then soaking it in apple juice for another 12 hours or so before cooking on my offset smoker around 250* for a few hours. After 2-3 hours, wrapping with foil and applying sweet glaze and letting it braise until done.

Thoughts on the glaze: I have some Kosmos Q rib glaze, which might work well. I also thought about real maple syrup with some real honey. Totally open to suggestions here!
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Old 11-10-2019, 05:54 PM   #2
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I did one of those last weekend. First I sliced a thin layer off the whole ham. Then I covered it my pork rub (use something lower in salt) which has a fair amount of sugar in it. Next, I smoked it for about 8 hours spritzing with water every couple of hours. This helped turn the rub into a glaze and of course an awesome bark. Instead of glazing it, I made a morello cherry sauce with morello cherries (jarred) and some juice, cherry jam, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Sometimes I add black pepper and a splash of wine vinegar to the sauce, depending on the application. Anywho, it was great. Maybe something to consider.
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Old 11-10-2019, 06:03 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DECENT BBQ View Post
Born and raised in central VA, I felt it was only natural to do a proper Smithfield Country Ham for Thanksgiving this year for my coworkers and friends who will be coming to my place for their feast this year here in Seattle, WA. I bought one of these: https://www.smithfieldmarketplace.co...m/country-hams

How do ya'll like to prepare these? I know I'll have to soak it for ~24 hours to draw out the salt, but was thinking about using my smoker instead of the oven for cooking it. I was planning on soaking it in water for 24 hours, changing the water every 6 hours or so, then soaking it in apple juice for another 12 hours or so before cooking on my offset smoker around 250* for a few hours. After 2-3 hours, wrapping with foil and applying sweet glaze and letting it braise until done.

Thoughts on the glaze: I have some Kosmos Q rib glaze, which might work well. I also thought about real maple syrup with some real honey. Totally open to suggestions here!

I like your thinking here, my favorite glaze is made with dried diced apricots and dried pineapple reconstituted/simmered in apple juice, no added sweetener is needed, simmer until thick and syrupy use a potato masher to macerate the reconstituted fruit. A few (2 to 3) whole cloves in the simmering liquid adds a nice depth of flavor and is optional.
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Old 11-10-2019, 06:18 PM   #4
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I like where you're thinking about this. The salt soak is important, and the apple juice soak sounds great.

Glaze......too many to recommend.

Let us know how this turns out.
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Old 11-12-2019, 09:40 AM   #5
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I cook Virginia country hams often, the hams are already smoked, do not cook it in a pit of any kind. Soak the ham for 24 hours if it is a soft (1 year ham) or 48 hours ( 2 year old or older ham) do not brine, you can baste with apple cider(when used as a cooking liquid). Virginia country hams do not do well with overly sweet finishes. Try sprinkling with a little brown sugar at the end of the cooking time. Virginia country hams are strong and flavorful, serve sliced very thin 1/8 to a 1/4 inch. Your covered roasting pan will do the best job.


Happy Thanksgiving from Ottoman Virginia.
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Old 11-12-2019, 10:21 AM   #6
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From Virginia Tech: soak and scrub the ham and place it in a covered roaster, fat-side up. Then, pour 2 inches of water into the roaster and place it in a 325° F oven. Cook approximately 20 to 25 minutes per pound. Baste frequently. Cook to an internal temperature of 155° F, as indicated by a meat thermometer placed in the thickest position of the ham cushion. If you do not have a meat thermometer, test for doneness by moving the flat aitchbone (pelvis). It should move easily when the ham is done.Lift the ham from the kettle and remove skin. Sprinkle with brown sugar and/or breadcrumbs and brown lightly in a 375° F oven or use one of the suggested glazes.
Orange glaze: Mix 1 cup brown sugar and the juice and grated rind of one orange; spread over fat surface. Bake until lightly browned in a 375° F oven. Garnish with orange slices.
Mustard glaze: Mix 1/4 cup brown sugar, 2 teaspoons prepared mustard, 2 tablespoons vinegar, and 1 tablespoon water. Spread over fat surface and bake as directed above.
Spice glaze: Use 1 cup brown sugar and 1 cup juice from spiced peaches or crab apples. Bake as directed above. Garnish with the whole pickled fruit.
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Old 11-12-2019, 10:23 AM   #7
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https://www.pubs.ext.vt.edu/458/458-223/458-223.html
More than you need to know.
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Old 11-13-2019, 06:39 AM   #8
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Totally agree with Viking. After the salt cure, those hams spend roughly 3 days in oak sawdust smoke. I have a pic thread under the heading of Virginia Ham from a couple years ago (sorry, don’t know how to do the link). That ham needs to be in liquid when it cooks or it will be a dried out disaster. Along with the pre-cook soak, I bring the ham to a boil in fresh water & then throw out that water as well. That helps draw more of the salt out of the meat. Paper thin slice on a good biscuit is absolute heaven!
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Old 11-13-2019, 08:16 AM   #9
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Lancaster is just around the corner from me, when you doing one of those ;)

Quote:
Originally Posted by viking72 View Post
I cook Virginia country hams often, the hams are already smoked, do not cook it in a pit of any kind. Soak the ham for 24 hours if it is a soft (1 year ham) or 48 hours ( 2 year old or older ham) do not brine, you can baste with apple cider(when used as a cooking liquid). Virginia country hams do not do well with overly sweet finishes. Try sprinkling with a little brown sugar at the end of the cooking time. Virginia country hams are strong and flavorful, serve sliced very thin 1/8 to a 1/4 inch. Your covered roasting pan will do the best job.


Happy Thanksgiving from Ottoman Virginia.
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Old 11-13-2019, 09:24 AM   #10
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I'm guessing you have eaten country ham before and know what to expect.... but have just never cooked one?

I think viking72 has given you sound advice, the producer also has some tips and likely more folks will chime in. I appreciate country hams because of the history and tradition behind the processing, they are kind of a legendary American art form if you will, but like many things from yesteryear don't try to undo or disguise anything too much. I prefer the simmer in water cooking method over the foiled wrap with liquid, although one Grandmother would cook them in a pan inside a brown paper bag that were pretty good. Cooking it naked in your smoker might not be a good choice. Soak time and serving suggestions might be your important decisions because of the saltiness.

Just curious, will there be other meat choices for the guests to dine on?
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Old 11-14-2019, 06:41 AM   #11
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Waiting for the fall sale $.79Lbs.
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Old 11-18-2019, 06:29 AM   #12
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OP must be busy boiling the ribs!
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