One of the most rewarding parts of our job is opening the smokehouse and tugging off a fatty chunk of smoked pork, be it a pork shoulder for bbq or in this case a cured ham for Easter.
Ham as we think of it is a cured and cooked product; smoked to a tender finish at a relatively humid, low temperature. The characteristic pink hue (and flavor) of a ham comes from the nitrates in the cure - in our case, those naturally derived from a celery powder.
This has been one of the most difficult products for us to master over the years. It really is a science, including calculations of the salts and nitrates per lb of meat, as delivered by a precise brine that is injected via a vein and then tumbled in a vacuum chamber to massage the brine through every bit of the muscle.
Hams must then be netted and tied neatly, which takes plenty of practice to master, and then carefully hung in the smokehouse for a long smoke.
For you, the most important part is the eating. Simply warm your ham in the oven at a low temperature - approximately 225 - until an internal temperature of 125 is reached. Increase the oven temperature to 375 and bake until the ham is 145 degrees internal temperature. Remove from the oven and allow it to rest on a cutting board for 20 to 30 minutes - loosely tented in foil - before carving.
Hams this year are being sold by:
Half Ham - 5 to 10 lbs, $8 per lb
Boneless Ham - 5 to 8#, $15 per lb
The boneless hams are 100% usable with no trim. These are perfect for small parties and to slice for deli trays. They are the same as our deli lunchmeat, just not sliced.
Bone-in Half and Whole hams are ideal for traditional family gatherings and for making soup with the leftover ham and ham bone.
The Rump is the larger portion with 1 femur bone running from the knee joint to the hip joint. We suggest 8 to 12 oz per guest, depending on whether or not you want leftovers.
The Shank is the smaller portion from just above the trotter (foot). It has two bones from the shin area. It is smaller with plenty of slicable meat and a hefty soup bone for leftovers. Recommended 8 to 12 oz per guest.
-The Crew at Ohio City Provisions