I am 58 this year. (Me, Madonna, Gary Oldman, Sharon Stone, Holly Hunter, Ellen DeGeneres and many more are all having our Beddian Birthdays this year…) When I was a child and a young teen, in the 1960’s and 70’s, my mother would prepare whole hams for holidays.
She purchased these hams at a very high quality butcher located in the Farmer’s Market at 3rd and Fairfax. They were very large, of course, being whole, and complete with rind. They were, I believe, already cooked, but I’m not completely certain about that. In any case, my mother cooked them (again?) in a sooooper low oven for a long time, something like 200 degrees for 10 hours.
What emerged from the oven was, as my father and I often say in fondly reminiscing about them, carnivore nirvana. Pigmeat bliss. She would pull off the skin, (which we would then bake up into amazing cracklins) revealing a thick blanket of exquisite, snowy fat encasing the meat that was flawlessly tender, perfectly seasoned (i.e. salted, but by no measure excessive: Just Right) and so ridiculously delicious you could almost cry.
I have been searching for hams like these for decades now, but so far they remain nothing but a memory.
I keep hoping that somewhere there will be a heritage pork producer that makes hams like these, but I’m told that they really don’t. Because I’ve never heard a good recommend, I’ve never coughed up the rather large $$ to see for myself. But I’ve looked at the marketing materials with photos and they don’t really look like the nice fatty hams of yore.
So does anyone know of any heritage pork producers that are making hams that sound something like this?