Wednesday, August 5, 2009

In Search of the Perfect Ham Recipe for The Niman Ranch Ham

Yesterday I was given a task for Thursday by the President of our company. The orders: Get someone to organize the office for another office lunch date (taken care of by the ever efficient Dr. Proctor) and cook the 10 lb Niman Ranch Ham in the fridge for the office for lunch.
Yes...that's right.
A 10 lb Niman Ranch Ham. I'm salivating at the very thought of it.
This year is the very first year Lobster Gram is teaming up with legendary Niman Ranch. A small selection of Niman meats will be available in the Lobster Gram 2010 catalog due to be released early this fall. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Niman Ranch and their superior meats, here is a link to their web site.
They raise their animals with NO added hormones, antibiotics or animal by-products, and humane practices. The result renders some of the finest meats ever to grace the tables of such legendary eateries as Gibsons Bar & Steak House right here in sweet home Chicago...and Chicago is a leading authority when it comes to meat.
The next step...trying to find a great simple ham recipe that will appeal to all of my coworkers, and not force me to spend my day dieing in the heat downstairs.
So here is my issue. My family sticks with a great easy recipe for ham. Drench it in 7up and bake it in a oven bag. It's always flavorful and tender beyond all belief, but I'm wondering if this way might be a little too simple for use on a great ham like this.
I realize being what it is, the flavors and tenderness will be there even if I spear the ham and cook it over a 55 gallon drum with a fire burning in it on the corner of Wabash & why mess with perfection?
On the other hand...such a beautiful ham deserves the very best gourmet treatment we can supply for it, and our test kitchen is more than capable of doing just that.
So I pose this question to you my dear readers. What would you do with a 10 lb Niman Ranch Ham?
Leave me a comment and let me know! If you have a great recipe for ham, simple or otherwise, feel free to share it! I only have about 24 hours till cooking time so I need to figure this one out fast!

1 comment:

Salt and Pepper said...

Here's what we would do:
a) make a paste of mustard, minced garlic, paprika, fresh herbs (thyme is nice) and black pepper.
b) score the surface of the ham all over. Slather with mustard paste.
c) Drain and rinse a bag or two of sauerkraut.
d) In a roasting pan put sliced yellow onions, kraut, some garlic cloves, bay leaves, fresh thyme, whole peppercorns, some cloves, and a couple bottles of light German style beer.
e) add some smoked pork Kielbasa cut into 1-2 inch pieces
f)Place the ham on top of the kraut, cover the whole thing with foil and bake in the oven the right amount of time for the size of your ham. Then uncover and cook for additional 30 minutes or until a nice crust forms from the paste.

We like to slice and eat with rye bread, some of the kraut, sliced pickles and spicy mustard. Pairs nicely with beer or an off-dry Riesling. It also goes excellently with breakfast. Fry up some eggs and add thin ham slices to the pan and fry at the same time. Put on a bagel or english muffin, add a little swiss or cheddar, etc.

@diella and @jeffallennyc