Cottage Ham is a boneless shoulder butt, cured in brine and sold raw and wrapped in netting, then in a plastic wrapper.
The purpose of the netting is to hold it together while cooking.
Cottage Ham is not the same as boneless shoulder pork, which is untreated and will have a bone usually.
It is an inexpensive cut but tasty, as it will taste somewhat like ham.
Serve as you would ham, either as part of a meal, or on rolls and sandwiches, or in soups.
Often served with a zesty condiment such as horseradish or mustard.
Cook a Cottage Ham by simmering it in water, which helps to draw the excess brine out.
It is ideal for crock pot cooking.
Remove plastic wrapping, but not netting. Rinse first to get some of the salt off. Ones that are vacuum sealed in plastic will need more rinsing to get some of the brine off, about 5 minutes under running water. Otherwise, just a quick rinse will do it.
Put in pot fattiest side up. Cover with water. Add some seasonings, such as a bay leaf, cloves and / or garlic, peppercorns, celery pieces, and / or onion. Some people like to add onion soup mix to the water. Some people add 1/2 cup (4 oz / 125 ml) of beer or apple juice to the cooking water.
Under 3 1/2 pounds (1.75 kg), cook 35 minutes per pound (500 g.) Over 3 1/2 pounds (1.75 kg), cook 30 minutes per pound (500 g.)
In a crock pot, cook 4 to 6 or 8 to 10 hours depending on size and heat of your crockpot.
About half hour before the meat is done (if doing on stove top), you can turn it into a boiled dinner by adding root veg, cabbage, etc. Add the veg, bring to boil, then reduce to simmer until meat is cooked and veg are tender.
The ham is done when the internal temperature is 160 F (70 C). Remove netting before serving.
The cooking water can be used for soup the next day. Put it in fridge overnight, then take out of fridge and before it warms out, skim the chilled fat off the top and discard.
Some suggest rotisserie or low-temperature roasting, saying that the meat is tender enough for that, but they are likely mixing up a Cottage Ham, which is cured, with a boneless pork shoulder, which is not.
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-- Catherine Douzel