Sunday, March 27, 2011

HAM! and leftovers...

BEFORE the glaze
I cooked a picnic ham from my share of the pig.  This ham is very different than commercial  ham. For one, it is not pastel pink. And it does not have that silvery glisten you often see. With no salty after-taste, it is, in the words of my guests, more 'porky', yet definitely cured.
This was an 8 pound bone-in picnic ham. Even with my two sons, daughter-in-law, and three guests there are tons of leftovers. The mildness of the cure allows more possibilities in using the ham. This week it will be a traditional use of leftover ham- lentil soup as well as a version of Spaghetti Carbonara.
Here's the original menu:
Glazed Baked Ham
Mashed Potatoes with Scallions
Roasted Green Beans
Fresh Pineapple Upside Down Cake
I made the mashed potatoes the day before, without the scallions and trimmed and washed the green beans. While the roast was resting, I put the potatoes in a 350 degree oven (adding a bit more milk), covered, to heat along with the beans that were tossed with a bit of olive oil and salt and pepper. I stirred the scallions into the potatoes just before I served them.

Glazed Baked Ham
1 8 to 10 pound ham (preferably bone-in picnic)
1 large onion
1 Tablespoon dry mustard, such as Colman’s
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup stone ground mustard
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup orange marmalade

1. Peel and slice the onion. Carefully slice off the skin from the ham, leaving the fat. Set the skin aside.
2. Combine the dry mustard and black pepper. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
3. Put the brown sugar, mustard, vinegar and marmalade in a saucepan and simmer, stirring occasionally, over medium heat until thickened, about 15 minutes. 
4. Score the fat on the ham by making diagonal slashes from top to bottom. Turn it and score from the other direction to make a diamond pattern.
5. Place the sliced onion in a baking pan (if you have a deep enough one with a cover, that’s great—otherwise you can cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil). Place the ham, with the bone pointing up, on top of the onion. 
6. Rub the dry mustard and pepper mixture all over the ham. Cover tightly (with lid or aluminum foil) and bake 2 to 3 hours, until the internal thermometer registers 140 degrees (use a meat thermometer or instant read thermometer). 
7. Increase the oven temperature to 450 degrees.Remove the ham from the oven. . Either drain off any liquid in the pan, or place the ham in a clean baking pan and generously brush with glaze. Bake 25 minutes, until the glaze is browned. Remove from the oven, and let rest 20 minutes.
8. Meanwhile, add about 1 cup of the drained liquid to the remaining glaze. Cook over medium heat to thicken slightly.
9. Slice the ham and serve with the sauce.

Leftover Ham Lentil Soup
A perfect lunch with a grilled cheese sandwich

1 ham bone from a picnic ham
1/4 cup pieces of ham fat, drippings from 2 slices of bacon, or 2 Tablespoons oil
1 large onion
2 carrots
2 stalks of celery
1/4 small head of white cabbage
2 cloves garlic
1 pound dry lentils
8 cups water
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 cup diced ham
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh dill
salt and pepper

1. Carefully sort through the lentils, picking out any that are discolored or wrinkled. Rinse them in cold water.
2. Dice the onion, carrot, cabbage and celery. (If you want to have more texture, you can slice the cabbage into thin strips). Finely mince the garlic.
3. If using ham fat, place in a large, heavy skillet and cook over very low heat until all of the fat has rendered. Remove any cracklings. If using bacon fat or oil, heat in the skillet. 
4. Add the vegetables and cook over very low heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions and celery are translucent. 
5. Place the ham bone in a large soup pot and add the lentils, vegetables, water and stock. Bring to a simmer and cook, partially covered, for 2 hours, until the lentils are soft.
6. Add the dill and ham and cook another 10 minutes. Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.

Other ideas for leftover ham: add to Red Beans and Rice, use in Fried Rice or Jambalaya, add cubes to Macaroni and Cheese, toss cubes with vinegar and fresh rosemary and serve cold with hot crusty bread, put into 'twice-baked potatoes' along with some steamed broccoli and cheddar-- the possibilities are endless!

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