Preferences on cooking a country ham and how to cut one
Tue, 12/30/08 7:42 PM
I have a question for anyone who has cooked a country (salt-cured) ham. During our vacation trip to the North Carolina homeland, I was blessed enough to receive a country ham to take back to Buffalo. I learned that some of my relatives have been baking the ham (after soaking it sufficiently, of course) instead of the traditional (at least I believe it to be traditional) method of boiling the ham. Growing up I had always eaten the boiled version of the ham. The advantages of baking versus boiling is that you don't have to find a large pot to boil it in. The disadvantage of baking is that you don't end up with the leftover "pot liquor" water from the boiled ham that is great for cooking potatoes and greens in. I am curious if any of you all have some thoughts about which method is the best one, or maybe it just depends on what you have in the way of cooking utensils or whether you want to cook vegetables also. I have eaten both kinds and found them equally delicious. Perhaps this question is on the magnitude of counting the number of angels on the head of a pin, and if so I apologize.
I also have another question that I should have posted earlier. In NC it is possible to take the ham to the store and have the ends cut off or have the ham cut in half. In NY State (home of regulations on everything), I suspect that I would not fare well trying to do so. (And of course it would take some time to explain to a butcher how this ham is different). Cutting the bone presents some challenges, but the technology may be simple. Has anyone had success cutting one with a circular saw, or am I in danger of making the news for all the wrong reasons?