Country Ham, like all pork, must be cooked before consuming. However, not very much!
Cooking is not difficult. Everyone has taste, and the secret is trying to understand the difference between what tastes good and what doesn't.
The Country Ham curing process removes 23% of the water content. That is what makes it taste so special, but also why it does not need much cooking.
The goal is to simply raise the internal temperature to 160F / 71C while very lightly browning or searing the outer surface which enhances the rich deep flavors and aromas we love.
PREPARING SLICES TO COOK
Scraping: Country Ham is sliced with a meat saw, leaving a thin layer of oil and marrow on the surface, which can be gently scraped off with a knife-edge.
Trimming: Our Sliced Whole Bone-in Ham should be trimmed with a sharp knife, removing the cure rind and leaving only as much fat as wished.
Soaking: Not necessary; however, if you wish to reduce saltiness. the slices can be soaked in cold water for 10 minutes +/- and then thoroughly patted dry
Preparing Pan: Use a heavy skillet and heat cooking oil until it shimmers at about 400F--hot enough to sear without burning when slices are placed in pan.
SEAR AND SAUTÉ OVER MODERATE HEAT UNTIL LIGHTLY BROWNED, TURNING AS NEEDED TO COOK EVENLY.
When carefully adding slices to the skillet, cook a few at a time. If your pan is hot enough to brown each side slightly without burning, it should take about one minute per side for thin slices. Allow a little more time for the thicker 1/4" cuts of our Premium Steaks and Sliced Whole Hams.