Nancy’s old fashioned, slow-aged, Kentucky country hams require no refrigeration until cut. They may be shipped any place. Because of aging, your ham may have some mold on it. This does not affect the quality of the meat and indicates proper aging. The mold may be removed with vinegar and a cloth or by washing with water and a brush.
A new user of country ham may expect them to be more salty than a packing house ham. The flavor is much more intense due to shrinking and enzymatic activity during aging. As early as 8 months, usually at approximately 10 months of age, some (but not all) Kentucky country hams form white streaks through the ham that appear as white specks in the meat after it is sliced. This is a concentration of salt and proteins caused by aging. These specks are in no way harmful to eat and are only an indication of a properly aged Kentucky country ham. Hams showing this indication of proper aging are much sought after in this area of Kentucky ham country.
TIPS FOR KEEPING OR STORING UNCOOKED WHOLE KENTUCKY COUNTRY HAMS
1. To keep for indefinite period or for further aging, hang in a dry place and protect against insects, usually by wrapping in paper and cloth bags. Remember Ham will drip some fat in a warm place, but will not age further if stored where it is cold or in refrigerator.
2. When ham is to be fried or broiled it is best to have ham sliced on a power saw. Scrape the slices to remove bone dust before refrigeration. Since Col. Newsom's Kentucky Country Ham is cured and aged under federal inspection, your favorite supermarket or butcher may slice it for you. Take the cooking brochure with you to the market as the small, round seal on its front indicates a federal inspection number and without proof of inspection, slicing by a commercial store is forbidden under laws of storekeeping inspection.
3. To keep after slicing, coat each slice lightly on both sides with shortening or lard. Put the desired number of slices in foil, wrap tightly and put in refrigerator until needed.
4. Ham may be kept in deep freeze for several months after slicing, if properly wrapped.
5. Remember it is normal for a Kentucky County Ham to mold as a whole, uncooked aged ham product. The mold may be removed with vinegar, vinegar and water, or water and bristle brush.
6. Kentucky country hams, uncut and uncooked, may be kept whole without refrigeration for three years maximum if kept dry and properly protected from insects and rodents. Do not place in airtight containers such as plastic bags or bags with moisture barrier when whole and uncooked.
Refrigerated hams do not age any further, but Nancy’s Kentucky Country Hams are fully aged, and may be kept sliced and frozen for several months with little loss of flavor.
STORAGE TIPS FOR NEWSOM'S PROSCIUTTO PIECE CARVED FROM WHOLE PROSCIUTTO HAM
Store in refrigerator wrapped tightly in plastic wrap (Saran wrap type). Never store in loose plastic bags as gases build changing the flavor. Proscuitto may be kept for several weeks in this manner. After that, wrap tightly in the plastic wrap, then in foil also to prevent freezer burn, for freezer storage.
Whole, uncut prosciutto hams, bone-in, uncooked, skin on, may be stored in the same way as the cured Aged Kentucky Country Ham. See storage tips for whole hams above.
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