Sunday, February 26, 2006

Ham Boiled in Beer

Take a ham, whole or half depending on what fits in your stock pot, and cover it with beer (preferably a nut brown ale, but a lager will do) and/or good apple cider--That means crushed apples, not corn sugar water with apple flavoring. Set it to boil. Add a cinnamon stick, a few whole cloves, a large crumbled bay leaf, half a dozen pepper corns and half a teaspoon of whole mustard seed. Add anything else you like such as star anise, caraway seed, juniper berries, crushed red pepper, et cetera and so forth, not to mention so on (the old so-and-so.) Keep it simmering for a couple of hours. When pieces fall off the bone it's done. Remove from broth, cool, slice and serve. You can eat it anyway you like ham. It's best when cold and made into sandwiches. If you do this with what ever passes for cheap in this exorbitant world, your modest ham will compare favorably to the expensive Black Forest type.
I made this up after reading a Dick Francis mystery in which he talked about the old -- Sussex, I think -- English way of boiling ham in beer.
-- ml

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