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Hammin’ It Up

No matter how you slice it, country ham is synonymous with the South.

Often considered to be a holiday and Derby tradition in Kentucky, country ham is a variety of cured and smoked ham known for its savory salty flavor.

Kentucky country hams are typically salt-cured for one to three months, and then aged anywhere from several months to a couple of years, depending on the meat’s fat content. Country hams are not fully cooked, but instead are preserved by the cure.

What once was typically served thick cut as a breakfast or dinner entrée with a side of red-eye gravy, is now also seen sliced paper thin and served charcuterie style in many Louisville homes and restaurants.

Country ham is also the perfect complement to serve with Beaten Biscuits, another Southern culinary tradition.

You can find country ham as an appetizer, entrée ingredient or sandwich on the menus throughout Louisville.

Country Ham and red eye gravy:

  • 4 slices of thick sliced country ham
  • About 1/2 cup of day old coffee
  • About 1 tablespoon butter
  • Biscuits to serve with (recipe in Episode 1)

Sautee the sliced ham in a cast iron or heavy skillet until lightly browned. Remove the ham slices, reserving the rendered fat in the pan. Add the coffee and a tablespoon of butter. Let the gravy reduce some until it is your desired thickness. Serve it in ramekins or cups and serve with biscuits and ham.

Bourbon Bloody Mary:

  • Can of tomato juice
  • Pinch of Bourbon Barrel Smoked Pepper
  • Pinch of Bourbon Barrel Smoked Paprika
  • A few dashes of Bourbon Barrel Aged Worcestershire
  • A couple of dashes of celery salt
  • A couple dashes of Tabasco Sauce
  • Juice of a quarter of a lemon
  • 2 ounces of Buffalo Trace Bourbon

In a pint glass add ice, bourbon, seasonings, tomato juice and squeeze of lemon juice. Stir and garnish with anything you like! We used pickled okra, fresh cheese curds, cherry tomatoes and country ham.