PREPARING  YOUR  HAM
    As you unwrap your ham from the bag and brown paper, you will probably notice mold on the ham, but do not be alarmed.  This is natural in the aging process as the sugar feeds the mold spores.  Just scrub your ham under warm running water, dry it off and it will look like new.
    If you have your ham sliced on a band saw, be sure to trim off the skin and any extra fat you don't want or need for any Red Eye Gravy.  Don't forget to scrape each side to remove bone marrow or this could affect the flavor.
    Before cooking you may want to soak your country ham in water.  Soaking the ham helps to remove some of the salt and may help to restore some of the moisture.  For whole ham cooking, cut 2-3 inches off the hock or shank and just below the aitch or hip bone.  Use these pieces for boiling or seasoning your beans, cabbage, etc.  Take the rest of the ham and put it in a large pot of cool water.  Soak the ham in cool water for 12-24 hours and change out the water 2 or 3 times.  You are then ready to finish cooking your ham.

                      FRYING  COUNTRY  HAM
    Place the ham slices in a frying pan set on medium heat.  Lightly brown both sides.  This should only take about 30-45 seconds per side.  Be sure not to over cook the ham as this will cause the ham to be tough.
    Pan boiling is similar to the above and some say it helps reduce the salty taste.  Place the ham in a frying pan and cover with water.  Bring the water to a boil and then pour off the water.  Turn the ham over and repeat the process.  After pouring off the water the second time, lightly brown both sides and serve.

                     BOILING  A  COUNTRY  HAM
    After you have finished soaking and poured off the last water, leave the ham in the pot and cover it with apple juice.  Add 1 cup of brown sugar, 1 pint of pineapple juice, approximately 12 whole cloves (if desired).  Cover the pot and bring to a boil.  Cut the heat back to allow the ham to simmer.  Cook approximately 15 minutes per pound (@ 3 hours) to an internal temperature of 160 degrees. Here is a breakdown of boiling times for 5 different sizes:

13 lb.     Boil for 3 hours and 15 minutes
14 lb.     Boil for 3 hours and 30 minutes
15 lb.     Boil for 3 hours and 45 minutes
16 lb.     Boil for 4 hours                       
17 lb.     Boil for 4 hours and 15 minutes

 After it has finished boiling, remove the ham from the liquid, and remove the skin and fat (and bone, if desired).  Cover the smooth side of the ham with crushed pineapple, brown sugar, more cloves (if desired), and some cherries for a bright color.  Or, you could use a glaze of your choice.  See some glaze recipes below.  Then put the ham in a 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes or place under the broiler for about 15 minutes to give it a nice brown finish.

                     BAKING  A  COUNTRY  HAM

    Wrap ham completely in heavy aluminum foil, in a manner to retain juices, and pour approximately one and a half cups water in aluminum foil.  (If you simply use water, you will end up with a good ham taste but no extra flavor.  For extra flavor you may want to be creative.  Here are a few of the liquids that we have been told over the years that people substitute for water:  pineapple juice, orange juice, Coca-Cola, Dr. Pepper, 7-Up or bourbon.  Your choice.)
    Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 20 minutes per pound to an internal temperature of 160 degrees.  Here is a breakdown of baking times for 5 different sizes:
13 lb ham            Bake 4 hours 20 minutes
14 lb ham            Bake 4 hours 40 minutes
15 lb ham            Bake 5 hours                 
16 lb ham            Bake 5 hours 20 minutes
17 lb ham            Bake 5 hours 40 minutes

    After it has finished baking, remove ham from liquid, and remove the skin and fat (and bone, if desired).  You may slice and serve as is or you may want to make a glaze of your choice.  See some glaze recipes below.

                                GLAZE  RECIPES

Honey-Mustard Glaze:

2tbs prepared mustard
1 cup brown sugar
One half cup honey

Spread mixture over cooked ham.  Garnish with pineapple rings.  In the center of each ring secure maraschino cherries with toothpicks.  Bake at 300 degrees for 30

Brown Sugar Glaze I:

Rub cooked ham with 1 cup brown sugar.
Sprinkle over the top one half cup bread crumbs.
Bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes.

Brown Sugar Glaze II:

4 tbs prepared mustard
1 cup brown sugar

Spread evenly over ham.  Bake about 10 to 15 minutes in 375 degree oven.

Sweet Cider Glaze:

1 cup brown sugar
One half cup apple cider

Baste cooked ham with this glaze; brown in a 375 degree over for about 30 minutes.


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