I have throughly enjoyed all of the time I spent writing over the past few weeks, I shut down my wife’s dry cleaners because I can’t handle the physical stress of maintenance nor the mental stresses of human interactions. The goal of the doctors is to get my blood pressure down so that they can cut my throat. Sounds gruesome, but the throat area happens to be where your neck bones are and I prefer my description.
This will be my last post for a couple of days until I get relocated in Florida for my neck surgery. Obviously for awhile I had been too busy cooking so even in Florida, I have work to do to get caught up on unpublished meals.
I am having fun with sous vide at the higher temperature of a crock-pot or coffeepot cooking new meals that I could not dream of a better way to make. My mother used to make many meals out of picnic ham because it was her way to stretch a dollar and get leftovers for sandwiches. It is tough to pick a good one without too much hidden fat, that is not too salty or cooks too dry but mom always worked her magic. I grew up with picnic hams and frankly find the butt hams a rather tasteless uninteresting staple that is meatier, more controlled and less complex than smoked picnics. My mother used to spice up the smoked picnic ham even further with horseradish, mustard and cloves.
Over cooked leftover ham in a split pea soup is tender and delicious and I was curious about what effect sous vide would have on a soup style overcooked ham served with chopped greens.
I purchased a ham steak and cut it into thirds. I used to cook the whole thing, eat half and then eat the other half as my breakfast protein instead of tuna or sardines. Eating a third is obviously better. The procedure was easy and straight forward.
5 oz ham steak soaked overnight in 16 oz water 1 ½ Tablespoons Brown Sugar
½ Teaspoon brown mustard
½ teaspoon horseradish
The soaking in sugar water removes excess salt without altering the picnic taste. The mustard and horseradish are mixed in a bowl then spread evenly over the ham steak and three cloves pressed into it.
The steak is carefully placed in a Handi-Vac bag and the air removed. The ham is then placed in the Coffeemaker and held in place with a spatula handle and 10 cups of water are run through the coffeemaker to bring the pot up to cooking temperature.
At the end of 8-12 hours of cooking the vacuum bag was still holding it’s own.
The chopped greens had no recipe, Salted water was brought to a boil. Two cloves of sliced garlic and a tablespoon of butter were added to the bot and when the boiled a second time, the chopped greens were added and done in about minutes.
This is not the prettiest meal I have ever made but it was excellent. The ham had all of the flavor of horseradish, mustard and cloves infused in every morsel. And the greens went with it perfectly. If I had cut the meat more carefully and selected the solid pieces instead of the piece near the bone with all the fat, it would have been prettier but then it would not have been the most sever test. As it was, I don’t know where the fat was or how it broke down enough to poor down the drain, but my ham steak wasn’t greasy at all and any fat left with the ham was easy to separate with my knife and fork.