Friday, August 7, 2009

Ham, Sweet Ham

Growing up, I never liked ham. I thought ham just meant the lunchmeat you put on sandwiches and got in plastic, sealed bags.

Then I married into a pork-raising family.

Now, my favorite ham comes from the meat we have processed in Herrington, KS. Something you may not realize: every meat processor has a different recipe for their ham cure, and it does make a difference. The ham from Herrington doesn't need dressed up.

But, because I can, we dress it up anyway.

My husband makes and sells jams and jellies through Farmers Markets. Two of my favorites are his Peach Jalapeno Jelly and Confetti Jelly. To make ham in our house, I place a strip of aluminum foil in a dutch oven. Then, I place a thawed cured ham on the foil. Pour the peach jalapeno or confetti jelly on top of the ham. Tent the aluminum foil.

Bake the ham at 350 degrees for about 18 minutes per pound of meat, or until the internal temperature reads 160 degrees. If you like the ham edges a little crispy, remove the foil the last 20 minutes or so.

Then, let the ham set at least 10 minutes before carving it. That will allow the juices to soak back into the meat and make for a better tasting ham.


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