The cut of meat from a hog's hind leg. Unprocessed meat is referred to as fresh ham, but most ham goes through a curing process after which is it referred to as cured ham. The meat can be dry cured (salting the surface); sweet-pickle cured (immersing in a sweet brine with seasonings); or injection-cured (meat is injected with brine). After curing the ham may be smoked.
Season: available year-round
How to select: Fresh Ham: Look for one with a firm white layer of fat, with a well-marbled lean portion. Cured Ham: choose one that is firm and plump; meat should be finely grained and rosy pink.
How to store: Fresh: Refrigerate up to five days. Cured: Refrigerate in original wrapping one week. Some country-style hams can be stored in a cool place 1-2 months.
How to prepare: bake, boil, fry, grill
Matches well with: apples, bananas, barbecue sauce, basil, bay leaves, bourbon, brown sugar, cider, cloves, cola, cranberries, figs, garlic, honey, horseradish, lemon, Madeira, mushrooms, mustard, onions, oranges, oregano, parsley, peaches, pineapple, port, raisins, rosemary, sherry, sour cream, sweet potatoes, thyme, tomatoes, vermouth, white wine