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» Spanish Hams (jamones) » Ham Stands & Knives » The "Bodega" Ham Stand

The "Bodega" Ham Stand

We use this excellent good looking stand.

Storage

Your ham will arrive in a vacuum sealed pouch, inside a muslin sock. Provided the vacuum seal is not broken, the ham may be stored for up to 6 months in a cool dry place. When you are ready to eat the ham, remove all packaging and wipe the surfaces of the ham with a dry cloth or kitchen paper. Harmless moulds may have grown on the surface. This is a natural continuation of the maturation process and is no cause for concern. The mould may be removed by wiping with a dry cloth.

Whole hams are best stored in a cool, dry and well ventilated environment, ideally 10° – 15°C, either hanging if unopened, or in their stand if already part consumed. They do not require refrigeration and for maximum flavour and enjoyment should be served at room temperature. The ham is fully cured with sea salt, and it should not go “off”. It will, however lose moisture by evaporation once the protective fat is removed. In the stand, the cut side can be covered with any fat previously removed, or wax paper, and a clean dry tea towel. This will slow down the evaporation of moisture, and keep the meat succulent. Alternatively, try rubbing olive oil on the open surface and covering with a cloth or greaseproof paper.

Carving

Carving your ham Begin by placing your ham in the stand, and securing it firmly. If your ham is going to be consumed over a short period of time, place it in the stand with the hoof facing upwards. If, however, only part of it will be used straight away, it is best placed with the hoof facing down. This way, the thinner part of the ham with the least fat and therefore the quickest to dry out will be eaten first.

Once your ham is in the correct position, with a sharp knife make a cross-ways cut through the skin a few inches down from the hoof, below the prominent joint. This helps with removing the remaining skin and outer fat layer. None of the outer surface of the ham is recommended for eating. Carefully trim away the fat from the area you wish to carve until you reach the meat. (The fat can be kept aside and placed over the surface of the cut ham once you have finished, which slows down the drying out process.)

There are three main muscle groups yielding the best meat: the front of the thigh, the rear of the thigh, and the rump. There is little of interest below the hock, although this part of the ham, together with all the bones, will make excellent stock once the ham is finished.

Carve small slices, cutting from the hoof end and working toward the rump. Slice as thinly as possible, pressing the blade of the knife almost flat against the open surface, and using a long, slow, sawing action with the full length of the blade. Try to keep a flat open surface. You should aim to cut translucent bite-size pieces, about 4-6cm long. Keep trimming the skin and outer fat layer as you carve down into the meat

Natural moulds will have occurred on the inner face of the ham where the bone is exposed, and these should be removed as the ham is carved, to avoid their bitter taste. The meat close to this inner surface is darker, drier and more dense because this part has very little fat covering. It does, however taste delicious.

Meat nearest the bone can be cut into small chunks, which are excellent when added to soups and stews. Once the meat has been removed from this side, turn the ham and start on the other side.

As you cut your slices down the length of the ham, you will encounter part of the pelvic bone, which runs across the ham on the inner side. Cut around this bone and continue slicing “behind” it, where you will find some of the best meat on the rump.

Once opened, your ham will remain at its most moist and succulent if consumed within 6-8 weeks. However, your ham is good to eat for up to 3 months, depending on the conditions in which it is stored.

£49.50
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