It’s spring break week this week, so Zach is staying at his Grandma’s house, but he also has swim lessons this week (at Coe College which are just awful swim lessons) so Grandma is driving him up here every day for his 30 minute lesson. (Yes, I know, we are really burning up the dead dinosaurs this week) Knowing that I would be feeding a whole troop this week I roasted one of the hams from our pig on Sunday.
Wow! Amazing. I had previously home brined a ham and roasted it, but this one was from the butcher and I had them smoke it first. It is incredible. Unbelievably good. Not to mention that it’s large enough for several meals.
After it was officially cooked Sunday night I cut some chunks off it and put them in aluminum foil so I could warm them up on Monday night. We enjoyed it with some mashed taters, gravy, roasted carrots, cornbread muffins and applesauce (we have a ton of applesauce here). It was great. But I was eyeing those ham bones.
Monday night I finished cutting up the ham and was left with two good sized ham bones. I followed Ed’s lentil recipe (sort of like a split pea soup) to make use of the meat that was still on the bones. Ed’s lentil recipe is very good. The ham adds a great smoky flavor and the lentils break down well. I used 1 cup green lentils and 1 cup orange lentils. Let it cook on low for a few hours and it really melds together well. My mother in law was in Texas in January and she brought me back some fresh bay leaves from a friend’s bush in their backyard (how nice would that be?). Those fresh bay leaves add tremendous flavor to soups. I’m very glad I have them.
I still have some huge portions left in the fridge, but I did dice some up so I can make up scalloped potatoes this week too. I love making use of big items like this for many, many dishes.
If you get a chance to buy a fresh, local ham that is smoked by a local butcher. You have to buy one. Far and away the best ham I’ve ever eaten, included those fancy Honey Glazed ones. Check out my Local Chow link if you are in Eastern Iowa and need a supplier.