How to Buy Uncooked Ham Joint and Cook It Perfectly
Uncooked ham joint, also known as fresh ham, is a cut of pork that comes from the hind leg of the pig. It is not cured or smoked, so it has a mild flavor and a pink color. Uncooked ham joint can be roasted, braised, or boiled, and it makes a delicious and festive main course for any occasion.
But how do you buy uncooked ham joint and cook it perfectly? Here are some tips to help you:
- Choose a ham joint that is well-trimmed and has a thin layer of fat on the outside. The fat will keep the meat moist and add flavor, but you don’t want too much of it. A good rule of thumb is to look for a ham joint that weighs about 10% more than the amount of meat you need.
- Look for a ham joint that has a USDA inspection seal and a sell-by date. Avoid buying ham joint that is past its sell-by date or has an unpleasant odor or color.
- Store the ham joint in the refrigerator until you are ready to cook it. You can keep it in its original packaging or wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or foil. Uncooked ham joint can last for 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator.
- Cook the ham joint according to your preferred method and recipe. You can roast it in the oven at 325Â°F for about 20 minutes per pound, braise it in a pot with liquid and aromatics for about 3 hours, or boil it in water with spices for about 4 hours. Whatever method you choose, make sure to cook the ham joint until it reaches an internal temperature of 145Â°F.
- Let the ham joint rest for 10 to 15 minutes before carving and serving. This will allow the juices to redistribute and make the meat more tender and juicy.
Enjoy your uncooked ham joint with your favorite side dishes and sauces. You can also use the leftovers to make sandwiches, salads, soups, or casseroles.
Uncooked ham joint is a versatile and tasty cut of pork that can be prepared in many ways. Here are some ideas for how to season and serve your uncooked ham joint:
- For a classic roast ham, rub the ham joint with salt, pepper, garlic, and herbs, and place it in a baking dish with some water or broth. Cover with foil and roast for about 2 hours, then uncover and glaze with honey, mustard, brown sugar, or maple syrup. Roast for another hour or until golden and caramelized.
- For a succulent braised ham, sear the ham joint in a large pot or Dutch oven over high heat until browned on all sides. Transfer to a plate and sautÃ© some onion, carrot, celery, and garlic in the same pot. Add some chicken stock, white wine, bay leaves, thyme, and rosemary, and bring to a boil. Return the ham joint to the pot and cover with a lid. Simmer over low heat for about 3 hours, turning the ham joint occasionally, until the meat is fork-tender.
- For a simple boiled ham, place the ham joint in a large pot and cover with water. Add some peppercorns, cloves, bay leaves, parsley, and onion, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 4 hours, skimming off any foam that rises to the surface. Remove the ham joint from the pot and let it cool slightly before slicing.
You can serve your uncooked ham joint with mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, green beans, coleslaw, biscuits, or cornbread. You can also make a gravy or a sauce with the cooking liquid or some of the drippings from the ham joint. Some popular sauces for ham are apple sauce, cranberry sauce, mustard sauce, or pineapple sauce.