Flutterby™! : tasting steak

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tasting steak

2006-12-01 15:42:09.769129+00 by Dan Lyke 1 comments

[ related topics: Food Mark Morford ]

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#Comment Re: made: 2006-12-01 16:50:49.624676+00 by: mvandewettering [edit history]

Interesting article. I experienced a tiny bit of culinary revelation over the Thanksgiving holiday as well. I was asked by my son to prepare both a turkey and a ham for the holiday, so while I was over at our local Costco, I decided to pick up a ham. The usual garden variety spiral cut ham was about $1.00 a pound, but I noticed that the Niman Ranch ham was only $1.29 or so, which boosted its price to about $20 for an 8lb ham. (Hmm. The math on this doesn't work out. I know the ham was right around $20, so it must have been $2.50 a pound or so... Whatever). I thought that was odd, since a similar ham costs about $50 on their website, but what the heck, maybe it's just a shipping/local thing, I decided to give it a try.

I prepared the ham as I normally did. I sliced the ham with a pattern of shallow diamond shaped cuts, studded the intersections with cloves, and put it in a fairly low oven (300 degrees) to slowly come to temperature (the ham was fully cooked already, you really just need to heat them). I mixed a glaze out of brown mustard (good stuff I got from Napa) some brown sugar and a little cayenne pepper for some heat, and basted it three times over 90 minutes.

The result: the best ham I've had in a very, very long time. The meat had a beautiful texture, neither gelatinous and uniform like some of the boneless hams, nor grainy and stringy, but firm and smooth, with hints of fat in every slice. The fat was similarly uniform and beautiful, almost like shortening in color, very nearly white, but with a nice, natural flavor. The hint of cloves and mustard was nice and gave the ham a holiday flavor, but frankly, it didn't need seasoning at all. The following morning, I cubed some up and browned it in a skillet with some beautiful fresh eggs, and had ham and eggs (one of my personal favorites). I have the bone in my freezer ready to make split pea soup over the weekend. Great stuff.

Now, if only I could stomach the $300 price tag for a 4-rib prime rib roast, I'd have an excellent Christmas dinner to write about.