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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently helped a friend move and he was gracious enough to give me one of those salt-cured smithfield hams -- the kind that comes in a burlap bag. I've eaten this kind of ham lots of times and they're excellent, but I've never prepared one.

Does anyone know:
1) how long will this thing keep?
2) how do I prepare it when I want to eat it?

Thanks
 

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BEEN HERE TO LONG
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it will last a year in right temps. i just slice peaces off and fry it,but that might be to salty for you so soak your slices in water over nite in water,so they will be less salty then fry them. you can bake it,but may be to salty.the outside crust is real salty cut it off first.even if baking it.if it gets worms on it dont throw it away its ok there just on the outside.
 

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Rifleman
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The ham will keep a long time if hung in a dry place. I have eaten salt cured ham over a year old and it's fine. If the ham molds on the outside just wash it off with a brush and water, it's harmless. Fry the ham with out any oil in the pan. It will make it's own. After the ham is fried pour off most of the oil in the pan and raise the temp till the pan just starts to smoke. Pour in a half cup of water. What you have in the pan is red eye gravy. It's great on hot biscuits.

The easiest way to fix the ham is have the whole ham sliced and fry what you want to eat and refrigerate of freeze the rest. Use the hock to season beans or greens.
If you are wanting to cook the ham whole, take a hack saw or saws-all and cut off the small, hock end and save for reasons above. Place the ham into a stock or soup pot large enough to cover with water. Fill pot with cold water and let the ham soak for 24 hours to draw out some of the salt.
After the ham has soaked over night change the water and place on the stove and bring the water to a boil. Keep at a slow boil keeping the ham covered with water. Cook this way at least 20 minutes per pound of ham.
While the ham is cooking gather some blankets or quilts. Place a folded quilt on the floor to set the covered pot on after it has cooked it's 20 minutes a pound. Then use other quilts to cover the pot completely. Leave covered until the next day. About an hour before you are planning to eat unwrap the quilts from the pot. Pour all the water off. Be careful because it will still be very hot. Slide the ham onto a cutting board. You should be able to stick a spoon under the fat and remove all of it in one piece. Let the ham rest for a while before slicing or it will fall apart.
I know it sounds like a lot of trouble but once the ham starts boiling it cooks its self. It will finish cooking wrapped in the quilts. I guarantee it will be the best ham you have ever eaten.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The ham will keep a long time if hung in a dry place.
The easiest way to fix the ham is have the whole ham sliced and fry what you want to eat and refrigerate of freeze the rest. Use the hock to season beans or greens.
Oh right, that hock! I almost forgot about that. It's cooled off quite a bit here these days and I think some split pea soup is just around the corner.

Thanks for reminding me and for the suggestions.
 

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I recently helped a friend move and he was gracious enough to give me one of those salt-cured smithfield hams -- the kind that comes in a burlap bag. I've eaten this kind of ham lots of times and they're excellent, but I've never prepared one.

Does anyone know:
1) how long will this thing keep?
2) how do I prepare it when I want to eat it?

Thanks
Smithfield ham....ham of the gods!
Peanut fed swine, butchered in their prime, smoked slowly to perfection....
D-R-O-O-O-O-O-O-L

...ahem...now where was I?
Highpower is right. You may see mold on the outside, but BY ALL THAT IS SACRED, DO NOT THROW IT OUT!!!
Good wooden scrub brush and water will get rid of the mold...
Now, for the meat...that wonderful, tender succulent *stops to wipe drool off chin* meat...
A lot of folks soak their hams before preparing. This gets rid of excess salt and adds moisture to the ham. Highpowers instructions were right, but add about 2 cups of sugar to the first soak (draws out more salt and puts a touch of sweetness in the ham) I know some old country folk that give the ham a second soak, first with plain water, second soak with 2 cups of sugar.

As far as recipes....think of that ham as a condiment, to be used sparingly to add delight to other dishes.
Great to add it diced or *slivered up* as my grandmother used to say to:
Green beans
Mac and cheese
Scrambled eggs
Fried potatoes
Rice
One old lady I knew used to make *ham rolls* with yeast bread....make small rolls of dough, plant a chunk of that ham in the center, let rise and bake as usual.
Butterfly a nice thick chicken breast and stuff it with minced ham and cheese and broccoli and bake....yum...
Potatoes au gratin
Add to cream of potato soup...any creamed soup...yummers!
I have added minced country ham to waffle or pancake batter. SO GOOD!
Add to succotash or okra
That ham can be added to just about anything...but it won't last as long as you want it too...
 

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Rifleman
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Ham rolls, mmmmmmmmm

Darn you Lamb, now I'm hungy.

I forgot to add, instead of sugar I add honey to my water. But anything sweet will work like Coke or Pepsi.
 

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IMHO, Smithfield hams used to be excellent. Now, not so much. Great hams need to hang a long time to concentrate the flavor. Smithfield hams, like most mass-produced things, aren't given the time they deserve.

Want to buy the best ham in America? Just once would you like to sink your teeth into the perfect ham?

http://www.newsomscountryham.com/
 

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Rifleman
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IMHO, Smithfield hams used to be excellent. Now, not so much. Great hams need to hang a long time to concentrate the flavor. Smithfield hams, like most mass-produced things, aren't given the time they deserve.

Want to buy the best ham in America? Just once would you like to sink your teeth into the perfect ham?

http://www.newsomscountryham.com/

Yea I agree. The store bought hams now are flash cured. I live in the hill of Tennessee and have neighbors who cure their own hams. Most hang a year after being salted down for 28 to 30 days. Just the smell of a good cured ham will make your tongue tap you brains out.
 
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