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Boiled Ham. Recipe

Boiled Ham Recipe:

History and Fun Facts:
Boiled ham is a classic dish that has been enjoyed for centuries. It is believed to have originated in Europe, where boiling meat was a common method of preservation before the invention of modern refrigeration techniques. The process of boiling ham not only tenderizes the meat but also enhances its flavor.

In ancient times, ham was traditionally boiled during the winter months when fresh meat was scarce. The long cooking time allowed households to have a ready-to-eat and preserved meat source throughout the season. Over time, this method of cooking ham gained popularity and became a beloved dish enjoyed year-round.

Interestingly, boiling ham is also a popular culinary tradition during Easter celebrations. It symbolizes the tradition of slaughtering and preserving meat before the arrival of spring, when fresh meat would become more readily available.

Now, let's dive into the recipe for boiled ham!

Ingredients:
- 8 to 10 pound ham (not too fat)
- Cold water
- 1 bay leaf
- 6 cloves
- 2 blades of mace
- 1 teaspoonful of sugar
- Fresh, sweet hay (optional)
- 1 egg, beaten
- Very fine bread crumbs
- Water-cress or parsley for garnish

Instructions:
1. Select a ham weighing from eight to ten pounds. Choose one that is not too fat to minimize waste.
2. Carefully wash the ham before boiling. Remove any rust or mold with a small, stiff scrubbing brush.
3. Place the ham in a large boiler and pour enough cold water over it to cover it completely.
4. Add a bay leaf, six cloves, two blades of mace, a teaspoonful of sugar, and a handful of fresh, sweet hay (if available) to the water. These spices and herbs will add extra flavor to the ham.
5. Heat the water gradually, ensuring it does not reach boiling point for at least two hours. Boiling the ham gently is crucial.
6. Simmer the ham gently until it has cooked for fifteen minutes per pound. This ensures that the meat is thoroughly cooked but still tender and juicy.
7. Let the ham cool in the cooking liquid. Do not remove the skin until the meat is entirely cold, as this will help keep the fat intact.
8. Once the ham has cooled, brush the surface with beaten egg. This will create a sticky base for the bread crumbs.
9. Sprinkle the ham with a thick layer of very fine bread crumbs, ensuring the entire surface is covered.
10. Place the ham in a preheated quick oven to brown. The bread crumbs will become golden and crispy, adding texture and flavor to the dish.
11. Optionally, arrange a frill of paper around the bone of the shank for an elegant presentation.
12. Garnish the serving dish with water-cress or parsley to add freshness and color to the presentation.

Boiled ham is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed in various ways. It can be served hot as the main course of a meal, sliced and used in sandwiches, or even enjoyed cold as a delicious addition to a charcuterie board.

Similar Recipe Dishes:
If you enjoy boiled ham, you may also like these similar recipe dishes:

1. Smoked Ham: Smoked ham is prepared similarly to boiled ham but has a distinct smoky flavor. It is cooked over indirect heat using wood chips or a smoker, giving it a unique taste profile.

2. Glazed Ham: Glazed ham is a popular dish during holiday feasts. The ham is typically coated with a flavorful glaze made with ingredients like brown sugar, honey, mustard, or spices before being baked in the oven.

3. Roasted Ham: Roasting a ham involves cooking it in the oven after seasoning it with herbs, spices, and sometimes a glaze. The result is a tender and juicy ham with a crispy exterior.

4. Ham and Bean Soup: Ham can be used to add flavor to hearty soups, such as ham and bean soup. Slow cooking the ham with beans and vegetables creates a comforting and satisfying dish.

Remember, with its rich history and versatility, boiled ham is a classic recipe that continues to be enjoyed by many.

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