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Old 03-22-2008, 01:54 AM   #1
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Ham Jitters... Help Please!

Folks,

I will start off by saying that I am not a ham fan, mainly because of the saltiness. Last Christmas my MIL made a ham that was simply delicious (not salty) and I took the leftover ham bone and made a wonderful bean dish. This dish is my intention with the leftovers as well as my DH's love of ham sandwiches.

Soooo.... I got this 9lb bone in, hickory smoked, water added, uncooked ham shank. I'm so lost! I have been doing research on recipes and the more I research, the more I feel lost as to how to cook this ham. Specially knowing that I want the left overs to have a neutral flavor so that it can be used to making the dishes I listed above. (I will admit I should have done my homework prior to purchasing said ham!)

Do I just follow the basic cooking instructions? I'm not a fan of fruit, glazes, or most of the recipes that I have found. I don't have canned fruit on hand. The best I have is apricot preserves and pineapple juice. Do I even need a glaze?

So can you folks lead me to a basic ham recipe that will allow the ham to shine through and allow the leftovers to be used and not have some over-bearing flavor that will transfer to other recipes?

Thanks for your help folks!

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Old 03-22-2008, 03:19 AM   #2
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Actually sattie you don't have to do anything to it. Just cook it.

Have not bought a city ham in quite a while. But they are lovely. Remember as a child going to my aunt's house Christmas nights and there would be the rest of the ham they had for dinner on the counter. There was also a knife, and some bread or biscuits. Everyone was free to cut off some and enjoy. Even us kids - made us feel grown up. And it was good eating.

She never added anything to the ham as I remember.

As to a glaze, at least to me, the flavor does not penetrate very far into the meat. Piggy's legs, the citified version, used to be fattier than the ones I find today, and one would score the fat, push in some cloves (not very many, but they did add something - I have never decided if I like the effect or not), add some brown sugar with mustard.

The crust on the top would taste great, but the flavor did not really permeate the meat.

And the ham bone was always there for the pea or lentil soup, or beans.

To me the city ham cooked that way was great because you would get a slice with a tasty sweet crust and delightful ham below.

I wish you a joyous Easter and enjoy the ham.
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Old 03-22-2008, 05:13 AM   #3
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Sattie, as a child, we always presoaked the cured hams to remove the saltiness. Think we did it for a few hours and then just patted it dry, remove the rind, stuck lots of cloves into the fat, replaced the rind, put it in an oven bag with a spoonful of flour and that was that. In the oven it went, and came out very simply and very tasty and not too salty. As Aunt Dot says, the cloves don't really permeate very far but they did make it taste nice. I now use a cranberry, honey and mustard baste, so no oven bag any more. It is mainly the fat (no rind with this method) that is flavoured by it but it does make the fat crisp and tasty as well as the surface ham. My SIL uses marmalade and garlic.

So no, you don't have to do any marinades, bastes or glazes and if you do, you just choose flavours that are complementary to the ham and your palate.

Good luck with whichever method you choose.
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Old 03-22-2008, 07:35 AM   #4
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I I have heard of just brushing marmalade on the ham at the end of the baking time, but I've never done it that way. The other advice and suggestions are very good. If you do just bake the ham, you'll be fine.
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Old 03-22-2008, 12:45 PM   #5
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Thank you thank you thank you! Kind folks, I was and am really sweating this one. I'm leaning toward a mustard glaze of some sort, but then as a side, I think I may be whipping up a batch of my mustard potato salad. I don't want to mustardize my tastebuds! So you think using mustard as a glaze would be too much with the potato salad?
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Old 03-22-2008, 12:50 PM   #6
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The mustard will flavor but at the same time fade away into the ham and won't interfere with your potato salad. Carryover tastes can also link everything together perfectly! Go for it! That mustard glaze will also not interfere, but help, in flavoring your ham salad, if you choose to make any. Ham salad is the only reason I buy ham!
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Old 03-22-2008, 01:02 PM   #7
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I have never made a ham salad.... heck, I never made potato salad until I got tired of paying $4 for a tiny little container at the grocery store. ( I did not even like mustard potato salad till I started making my own.) I think I am addicted!

Since there is only two of us, I think there will be plenty of leftovers. I even thought about split pea soup as opposed to that canned crud I get.

Thanks for your reply kitchenelf!
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Old 03-22-2008, 01:06 PM   #8
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Yea, and YOUR potato salad I guarantee is way better than anything you can buy!!!!

Ham Salad is yummy - I'll post a recipe later today.
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Old 03-22-2008, 02:19 PM   #9
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Don't know how much help I can be. I'm also not a fan of too salty or too sweet. I do like Honey Baked Hams Ham. Have you thought about cooking the ham in a slow cooker following the directions & adding a little pineapple juice or maple syrup. I like the mustard idea, but serving it w mustard potato salad, imo, would be a little too much mustard. I agree, homemeade potato salad is way better than paying $4 for the small containers of ready made. You could serve w red potato/dill/mayo salad or au gratin or scalloped taters w mushrooms & cream - would balance out the salty taste. Sometimes I buy a ham steak, just so I can make quiche.
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Old 03-22-2008, 11:18 PM   #10
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Hey Amy, thanks for the advice. I had already started my ham by the time I read your post. So here is what I ended up doing.

I trimmed all the fat and rind off and rinsed the ham. Set in a foil lined pan and put a few cloves in the ham. Covered with foil and cooked at 325 for 2 1/2 hours. Took out of the oven and removed foil. I then put a mustard and apricot preserve mixture on top of the ham and returned to oven for 30 minutes. Then switched the oven to broil at 325 for 20 minutes. Turned off heat, covered with foil and went for a run.

Got back and served up dinner with the mustard potato salad and ranch style beans. The ham turned out wonderful. Juicy, tender (fell off the bone) and quite tasty. Not to shabby for my first ham!

Thanks for the help you guys, and I have to say that the yellow mustard/apricot mixture was rather good... suprisingly good!
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