The secret of the juiciest Easter ham!
Learn how best to cook Easter ham, what spices to add and how to keep it fresh and tasty for a few days after cooking.
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Fragrant-cooked ham is certainly the main star of the Easter table, and what first evaluates the quality of its preparation is - juiciness. As with many other dishes, the methods of achieving the desired taste and texture of cooked ham differ among chefs, but we bring you some useful and tried and tested instructions and tips that will "get the best out" of your ham.
Which cooked ham to choose? Although in cooking, cooked ham means only processed pork leg, for Easter, instead of ham, a spatula can be cooked in the same way. So when buying, pay attention to the type of meat you are buying. Pork shoulder is certainly delicious meat, but keep in mind that there is still a reason why pork leg is "real" ham. On the market, you can find salted and smoked, dried or already cooked ham, or spatulas, which are sold with or without bones or skin, in whole pieces or so-called rolls of ham, consisting of several smaller pieces of pork leg interconnected by a net. We have no advice for the best choice among the various products listed, as your personal tastes play a major role in this case.
The length of cooking depends on the weight of the ham. Many industrial, packaged hams are already heat-treated and suitable for direct consumption, but to improve the taste and texture, it is recommended to boil them. Before cooking, rinse the ham in cold water if necessary and remove the skin if desired, leaving a thin layer of subcutaneous fat. Then place the ham in a suitable pot and add as much water as needed to completely cover it. It is important that the water is cold and that you put the pot on a moderate heat source to heat the ham slowly. From the moment the water starts to boil, the rule is to cook the ham for as many hours as it weighs. For example, a three-pound ham, we will cook for three hours.
Use of spices
Since hams are salty by themselves, do not salt the water in which you cook it, and if you want to add spices, you can add a few bay leaves and peppercorns to the water. Ham cooked in wine A small secret of gourmets for the special taste of ham is cooking in wine - a third of the cold water with which you initially fill the pot with ham, you can replace with white wine, and many agree that it gives the ham an unsurpassed taste.
Leave the ham to cool in the water
After cooking, to maintain the juiciness, leave the ham to cool in the water in which it was cooked, and later discard that water. Keep in mind that the ham will cool down slowly this way, so it is advisable to prepare it the day before. Store chilled ham in the refrigerator in as large pieces as possible, wrapped in aluminum or cling film to maintain humidity. Leftover ham in the refrigerator will keep fresh for three to four days.
Cooked Easter ham - preparation instructions (recipe)
- Put the ham in cold water, add spices and cook in unsalted water until the water boils.
- The fire should not be too strong, and the ham is cooked in a half-covered pan.
- For a richer taste and smell of ham, various spices can be added to the water: peppercorns, bay leaves, rosemary, allspice, anise, blueberry, Mediterranean spices or other spices as desired.
- After cooking, the ham should be left covered to cool completely in that water.
- Serve the ham with stuffed eggs, spring onions, bread.