Ham

Ham

By
From
Encyclopedia of Food and Cookery

The cured meat of the hind leg of the pig, ham is extremely versatile, with uses ranging from being sliced for a filling in a sandwich to a whole ham leg, beautifully glazed, holding pride of place on any celebration table. There are many different types of ham throughout the world, depending on the method of curing, the breed of pig and the feed it ate.

Ham can be purchased as a whole leg on the bone, in smaller cuts with or without the bone, or sliced. It is also tinned or pressed into long boneless rounds of rectangles for slicing.

Types of ham:

Coppa is not strictly ham as it is the cured, raw shoulder and neck part of the pig. It is fattier and less expensive than prosciutto, and is excellent in recipes calling for raw ham.

Double-smoked ham has a particularly rich smoky flavour, as the name implies, from extra smoking. Ham steaks are popular pan-fried or grilled on the family barbecue and served with pineapple slices and fruit chutneys.

Prosciutto crudo is a delicate raw ham which can be purchased at specialist delicatessens. It is served as an entrée, sliced paper-thin, with fresh melon slices, fresh figs or simply a pat of country butter.

Shoulder (picnic shoulder), loin or forehock meat can be cured in a similar way to ham, which gives it a similar flavour. It can be used in recipes specifying chopped, diced, minced (ground) or sliced ham.

Wiltshire ham or gammon is cured as part of the whole pig before being divided into cuts.

Ways to use leftover ham:

Croquettes; Fritters; Rissoles (see separate entries for recipes).

Serve slices of ham with fried, poached or scrambled eggs.

Mash hard-boiled egg yolks with sour cream and minced (ground) ham, and pile into egg white halves for stuffed eggs.

As fillings for vol-au-vent, croustades or tartlets. Add 80 g finely diced ham to 250 ml Mornay or Béchamel Sauce; stir in 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley and season with pepper. Pile into selected bread or pastry cases and warm in a preheated moderate oven (180°C) for about 15 minutes. Makes sufficient filling for 15 small individual cases.

Add ham strips to chicken, pasta, potato or rice salads with Mayonnaise.

Mince (grind) ham with a little onion and season with fruit chutney or mustard. Spread on buttered bread or in bread rolls.

Add small chunks of ham to pea, potato, pumpkin or lentil soups, and chicken or corn chowders.

See also Prosciutto.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
see method for ingredients

Method

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