Belfast is famous for their pickled or brined hams, but what gives them their own unique flavor is the process of smoking over peat fires. Like country-cured hams, they must be soaked, scrubbed, simmered and then baked before eating. To the Irish, ham is a cured leg of pork. Traditionally, Limerick ham is smoked over juniper branches. Whole hams should be soaked in cold water overnight before cooking but this is not necessary with smaller joints.
Old Fashioned or Country Style
A southern specialty, this ham is dry-cured with no water added. Commonly referred to as "old-fashioned" or "country-style," this salty ham is usually served in small, thinly sliced portions.
Meat from the upper part of the foreleg of the hog, including a portion of the shoulder. It is not a true ham, less tender in texture. They can be fresh or smoked.
Once made in Scotland, this term now refers to uncooked, boneless, mildly cured hams sold in casings.
From England, this mild-flavored ham has delicate pink meat and must be cooked like country-cured ham before eating. It is traditionally served with Madeira Sauce.
Though you can find genteel little rolled hams in the supermarket, opt instead for a good-sized bone-in ham with its rind from the market. There’s nothing like it. The meat has not been compressed or mechanically rolled, so it will absorb any flavoring: mustard, honey, beer, fruit juice, etc. Simply put it, uncovered, into a medium oven for a few hours, basting occasionally with 250 ml (1 cup) liquid. And for goodness’ sake, don’t throw out the bone! Boil it up with an onion, some small vegetables, herbs and a handful of rice. You’ll have a delicious old-fashioned soup. Don’t forget to add the bits of ham from the bone back into the soup.
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