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Published: Tuesday, 1/29/2008

Baked Country Ham Red-eye gravy Raisin sauce

1 smoke-cured country ham

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 cup apple-cider vinegar

2 cups water

With a heavy brush, remove any mold or dark spots from ham (mold is natural due to the long aging process).

Place ham into a large pot and cover entirely with water and 1/4 cup of apple-cider vinegar. Soak 24 hours. Remove from and discard water, rinse ham and place back into pot. Cover with fresh water and 1/4 cup of apple-cider vinegar. Soak another 24 hours (this removes salt from the curing process)

Place ham, fat side up, into a large brazier lined with aluminum foil. Leave enough foil overhanging pan to wrap over ham later. Coat the outside of ham with brown sugar. Pour 2 cups water and 1/2 cup apple-cider vinegar into foil. Carefully fold foil over top of ham, keeping water/vinegar inside, and seal foil.

Place into a 325-to-350-degree oven. Cook until ham reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees (25 to 28 minutes per pound). If desired, uncover for final 30 minutes and cook at 425 degrees to crisp and brown fat.

To carve: Trim off most of excess fat.

With a meat slicer or carving knife, make very thin slices across the ham to the bone. Then slice along the bone to remove the thin cuts of ham.

Source: Chef Scott Schmucker

2 pounds country ham, sliced

1 tablespoon whiskey

1 cup coffee, warm and strong

1 tablespoon brown sugar

In saute pan or cast-iron skillet heat oil, then fry ham slices to golden brown. Remove ham to platter.

Over medium heat add whiskey, coffee and brown sugar to the pan drippings.

Bring to a simmer and deglaze bottom of pan.

Simmer 3 to 5 minutes and serve over ham.

Yield: 1 cup of gravy.

Source: Chef Scott Schmucker

1 cup raisins

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest (lemon peel grated)

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 1/2 cups water

2 tablespoons cornstarch

Place all ingredients into small saucepan except cornstarch and 1/4 cup of the water.

Bring raisin mixture to a simmer.

In a small cup or bowl, mix the cornstarch and 1/4 cup of cold water together.

Slowly add cornstarch slurry into simmering raisin sauce, while stirring, until completely incorporated.

Continue to simmer 5 minutes.

Yield: 2 cups.

Source: Chef Scott Schmucker

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