Vegetarians, I suggest you avert your eyes. Today’s post is for the carnivores. Specifically, the carnivores who happen to be good cooks.
The resident organist and I, along with another household, subscribe to a meat share project. This is related to community-sponsored agriculture in that we pay a set amount, and once a month we get a lot of meat.
There are a number of advantages to this: locally-farmed meat, for a decent price, and in a variety of kinds ranging from ground chuck to prime cuts. However, that variety is sometimes a little puzzling, partly because I’m not a very experienced chef. I know what to do with sausage or ground beef, and I can put most of the simpler cuts to good use. But I’m also having to search for new recipes to use the meat that we have. I don’t want to ruin a good piece of meat by treating it like something it isn’t (e.g., braising when I should grill, or vice versa). So over the last year, I’ve learned how to roast a whole chicken (and turn it into stock), prepare a decent pan sauce, and determine what cuts are best for the stick-it-in-the-slow-cooker-and-forget-about-it school of cookery.
All that is a lead-up to saying this: We have a large ham. Not a BRIAN BLESSED type Large Ham, but a slab of smoked ham in the freezer. It’s smoked but uncooked — says so on the label — so I don’t think I can just chop it up and, say, toss it with some fettucini and peas. It’s not a large spiral-cut ham or anything like that, but just an inch-thick slab of ham with a nice layer of fat around the edge.
I have no idea what to do with it. (Apart from carrying it around so that I can leap into conversations demanding “Did somebody order a LARGE HAM???”) Does anyone know what to do with uncooked smoked ham? I don’t even know where to start looking, since I’m not entirely sure what I have.