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Country Ham Recipe

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This recipe for Country Ham, by , is from The Ledbetter Family Cookbook, 4th Edition, one of the cookbooks created at FamilyCookbookProject.com. We help families or individuals create heirloom cookbook treasures.

Contributor:  
Contributor:  
Gary Clement Ledbetter
Added: Friday, March 13, 2009

Category:
Category:

Ingredients:  
Ingredients:  
One 25 pound smokehouse country ham
Water

Directions:
Directions:
Take your ham down 48 hours before you need it. Icepick it again to make sure it's still good. Wash the ham with a hose and a good stiff brush. Make sure the mold and the dust is off of it. The moldier the better. Take your ham to a grocery store with a good bandsaw, and take 4 - 5 inches off the butt end and cut the hock off. Those pieces can be cut into hunks to cook turnip greens or black-eyed peas. Bring the ham back home and soak in water over night to remove some of the salt and soften the ham up. In a covered roasting pan with a rack, cover the bottom with 1 1/2 inches of water. Place the ham on the rack skin side up. Preheat oven to 325 and cook 15 minutes per pound. Cut the oven off, and continue cooking for another 1 1/2 hours. Remove the ham, and place on a carving platter. Let rest for 15 - 20 minutes. Trim off the skin and excess fat and discard. While hot, carefully work the bone back and forth and remove the bone and discard. Wrap the ham in aluminum foil, and refrigerate until ready to eat. The ham will keep in the refrigerator 2 - 3 weeks. Slice when cold and serve cold with biscuits. Do not reheat the ham, because it will dry out.

Personal Notes:
Personal Notes:
I buy a ham from a meat curer who uses an old fashioned method of curing, which includes salt curing and smoking over a real hickory fire. There's not many people who still do that. I've learned to find who those reputable folks are. I used to buy hams from Glen Stevenson in Columbia. After he died, I bought hams from Rice Farms in Mount Juliet. My new source is Reese Brothers Farms in Sideview, Tennessee. They prepare their hams the old fashioned way over the hickory fire. I like to serve 10 - 12 people, and you need a minimum of a 25 pound ham. The best way to find if ham is good is the icepick test. Stick an icepick into the center near the bone. Smell the icepick, and if you've had any experience with hams, you can tell a million miles away. You icepick it before you buy it. Any good meat curer is going to guarantee his ham. The icepick should smell like good ready to eat ham. A bad ham smells like spoiled meat. When you bring the ham home, hang it up in a cool dry place until you're ready to cook it. You can cook the ham immediately, but it will last at least two years. My late father used to prepare a country ham at Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other occasions like Mule Day, for his special friends like Henry McCall, Governor Frank Clement's widow Lucille, Governor Ned McWherter, and Bob Clement. Now those were the folks who got ham cooked. The other folks just got hams from the smokehouse. He did that because some people would see a ham with mold on it, and think it was bad and throw it in the garbage can. I still prepare a country ham every Christmas for Henry McCall. Henry always looks forward to these hams. This is a 40 year tradition, and the McCalls have always enjoyed it. It's a good way for me to go and visit at Christmas.

 

 

 

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