Virginia Dry Cured Ham
Storage: Requires no refrigeration prior to cooking. For peak flavor, prepare within 3-4 months of purchase. Store by hanging in cool, dry place. If stored longer, ham will continue to dry and become more intensely flavored.
Preparation: Mold on skin of an aged ham is natural and harmless. Remove by washing with hot water and stiff brush. (If necessary, remove portion of hock so ham fits into cooking vessel.) Prior to cooking your Wigwam ham, soaking is essential. Soak ham overnight in water to remove salt. Then, wash with warm water and stiff brush to remove mold and pepper.
Carving: The flavor of aged hams is enhanced by carving into very thin slices. (Thick slices can cause overpowering flavor intensity.) Using a sharp knife, make your first cut on the glazed side of the ham, at hock (small) end. Cut consecutive slices on a 45 degree angle, straight to the bone, keeping slices as thin as possible.
Traditional Method: Cook the ham in a low oven in a covered roasting pan with just a quart of water. You can also place ham in pot and cover with fresh water. Bring water to slow SIMMER (not boil) and maintain for 20-25 minutes per pound, plus 20 minutes (e.g., approximately 51/2-6 hours for 15 lb. ham) – or until meat thermometer shows internal temperature of 160 degrees F. Add water as needed to keep ham fully covered. When fully cooked (and while still warm), remove skin & trim fat to 1/4-inch thickness. Apply ham glaze, if desired.
Glazing: After skin removal and fat trimming, rub 1 cup of glaze (or brown sugar) over ham, score fat in a diamond pattern and stud with whole cloves. Bake at 300 degrees F. for about 30 minutes, or until lightly browned.
Frying: Hams of this flavor intensity are not recommended for frying.
Shelf Life (after cooking): 10 days without refrigeration, 8 weeks refrigerated, 4 months frozen.