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Posted 19 December 2012 - 09:00 PM
Ok so, it sounds ridiculous, but I know nothing about buying a Christmas ham. Someone else has always arranged it. But this time I want to have one for dinner. Now I've been to dinners where the ham was absolutely amazing, so good I didn't want to eat anything else. And dinners where it wasn't - I can't even remember what was wrong with it - I just remember avoiding it.
So... what is the difference? What part of the meat should I be getting? Is there any particular good place I should be ordering from? What else am I missing in the whole Ham Equation? How do I strike Ham Gold...
Posted 19 December 2012 - 09:10 PM
You want to get the shank end of the ham. The sweetest meat is found around the main bone. I know this as I spent many years working in a deli during high school and my uni days. I am a ham carving wizz.
Not sure where the best place to get one would be these days. Do you have any upmarket Deli's or butchers who do their own smoking near you?
Posted 19 December 2012 - 09:29 PM
Gosh, I'd have no idea. How do you tell if they are upmarket?
So do they actually call it shank?
And is it actually 'sweet'? I actually like my ham kind of juicy and salty... can't stand when it's honey glazed and stuff like that...
Posted 20 December 2012 - 12:35 PM
To add to this - I just the text from Aussie farmers saying I could order a ham. $59 - is that normal??? Sheesh it's just meat...
So anyway - has anybody tried theirs and found it to be good?
And next question.... how do you cook a ham? I actually kind of thought it just shows up as is, since it's cured? Or so I thought. But no - apparently it needs cooking.... Agh help!
Posted 20 December 2012 - 12:58 PM
Any half decent place will allow you to try a sample piece of their ham but at this stage, all the good places I know of are sold out (admittedly, I am regional though).
You don't 'have' to cook the ham, just many people do it so they can do the glaze for extra flavour. My MIL isn't into cooking but my FIL loves his christmas ham, so each year (when we have christmas at home), he buys a small boneless ham and just slices it Christmas morning for breakfast.
If I were serving ham for Christmas, I would buy one with the bone in (I think they have more flavour but are just a pain to carve). I'd get the butcher to remove the skin for me (but save it for soups) and score the rind because I'm lazy. I'd glaze it with something that wasn't too sweet and then allow to cool and serve cold so that it didn't clog up the oven for hours but I'm not pregnant or serving anyone with similar food issues.
Posted 20 December 2012 - 01:09 PM
Ah ok - cool! Will shop around some local butchers.
How far ahead can you buy a ham anyway?
Posted 20 December 2012 - 01:14 PM
All ham in Australia is supposed to be cooked (as opposed to the 'raw' ham you can buy in the UK - I learnt that from EB) and have sodium nitrate as a preservative. Very few places do preservative free hams because of the extra rules and checks they have to follow.
So you can definitely buy a ham now for Christmas if stored correctly. Don't freeze it.
Posted 21 December 2012 - 12:22 PM
Alright, so I kind of went the lazy way and bought the Aussie Farmers ham. Hope it's good - wish me luck!
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