Crumb Topped Smithfield Ham
|Smithfield ham/1 whole country-cured ham||14 Pound (Whole)|
|Light molasses||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs)|
|Soft white bread slices||2 Cup (32 tbs) (4 Slices)|
1 Soak ham overnight, or for 24 hours, in a large quantity of water. (If you have a free sink, that is the perfect place to soak the ham. This helps to remove some of the curing salt from the ham.)
2 Scrub the ham with a brush and rinse well to remove the pepper coating.
3 In a large pan,place the ham and cover with cold water. (If this is impossible, fit the ham, shank end up, in the largest roaster or kettle that you have and fill the container with cold water. Wrap heavy duty foil around the shank and up over the kettle or roaster to cover.) Heat water to simmering, but do not boil. (Southerners say that boiling water drives the salt into the ham.)
4 Simmer the ham, turning every 2 hours,for 6 hours, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the ham reaches 160 degrees farenheit.
5 Remove ham from the water.Cool and refrigerate until ready to prepare.
6 In a shallow roasting pan, place the ham; remove rind; trim fat and score the remaining fat. Brush with part of the molasses.
7 Bake in a moderate oven at 350 degrees farenheit for 30 minutes. Brush the ham with remaining molasses and pat bread crumbs onto the ham. Bake 30 minutes longer, or until the crumbs are golden.
8 Cut ham into very thin slices, holding the carving knife almost parallel to the bone, starting at the shank end. Serve.