|35lbs of Juicy Pig Butt!|
What's the deal with ham? First let's talk about exactly where it comes from... It’s as if all of the butchers and hog farmers in the world got together and made a pact to confuse the general populace. First things first, “Ham” comes from a pig’s buttock (left or right). While a “Pork Butt” might sound like a pig-bootie, the Butt (or “Boston Butt”) is actually from the pork shoulder. Confused yet? It gets better. If you cut the buttock out of a pig, it’s not called a “Ham” yet, it’s called a “Picnic.” Some call it a “picnic ham” or a “country ham” which is even more confusing. What you need to know is this; a “Picnic” does not become a “Ham” until it is salt cured, and cooked (usually smoked). When you buy a ham from the store, if the label says “Ham,” then it’s already cooked and safe to eat. Technically, you could bring it home, cut it open, and eat it right away (but it won't taste very good, to say nothing of the rubbery texture).
You Will Need:
- 1 Whole Bone-in Ham (not sliced, not "halved," not boneless)
- 1/2 Cup Honey
- 1/2 Cup Dijon Mustard
- 1/4 Cup Chili Powder
- 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
Lay the ham out on your cutting board, so the rind is down. Take a small sharp knife and cut about 1/4" deep, scoring a checkerboard pattern through the skin, fat, and down into the meat.
I tend to cut so that my squares come out 3/4" on a side. As the ham cooks, it will swell and your squares will be beautifully presented. Take your time with this, you'll be rewarded! Once you're through cutting, have a cold beer and relax a bit. The hard part is over!
Now, place the honey in a small bowl and heat it in the microwave for about 20 seconds. Mix in the mustard and stir, stir, stir until you have a nice honey mustard sauce. Spoon the sauce over your ham, pressing gently to squish it into your lattice cuts.
After all of the sauce is rubbed into your ham, sprinkle the dry ingredients over the top. Press the spices into your "trenches" and take a step back to marvel at what you've done! You're one step away from a restaurant quality Holiday Ham, and you only paid 1/3 of the price for it! Seriously, I've seen these things sell in Holiday Catalogues for more than $10/lb! You're better than that!!