Friday, January 19, 2007

Fatted Calf "Petit Jambon" - little smoked Heritage hams

More than Just a Vehicle for Mustard
2006 blogathon 24 hours of blogging to raise money for food runners in san francisco on july 29th 2006

There's ham, and then there's ham. I don't care what any of you think about British food and its reputation. All fool your ignorance if you snigger and still think British food always sucks. You can get truly wonderful ham in Britain. Real ham, thick crumbly ham, ham on the bone, ham that isn't covered in a putrid sticky honey glaze. In my experience (5 years, 50 weeks and counting) American ham doesn't even come close. Or should I say, didn't come close? Can someone please explain how I shopped at The Fatted Calf for two and a half years before even noticing that they sell ham. It took a chance meeting and food-filled conversation with a fascinating wine distributor, Hollis, from Kermit Lynch, at a wine and Michael Recchiuti chocolate pairing last December at Yield to find out about this ham. Hollis told me she had served it the Southern way, with biscuits, and that it had gone down a storm with guests at a party she had attended. My interest was piqued. I have bought two of these hams since then. The first for my Christmas Eve party where every scrap was gobbled up before I had a chance to stash some away for a private indulgence and the second which I took to a little pot luck gathering of some blogging friends who appeared to be instant fans. My personal preference might prefer it unsmoked, but this ham is so addictive, so succulent, so buttery, so moreish I can't help but forgive its subtle ashy overtones. Mmmm, 2007, the year of the pig ham!



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Petit Jambon little smoked Heritage hams (weight 1.5-3 pounds each) $10.00 per pound


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Fatted Calf "Petit Jambon" - little smoked Heritage hams

16 Comments:

  • At 19/1/07 09:35, Blogger drbiggles said…

    Oh man, I'm still chortlin'. See, I bought FC's near first ham. It was during a part of the year with no holidays or anything to celebrate and I showed up in line at the stall in Berkeley, all smiles. I wondered to myself, "what to get today?" I rarely have my mind made up until I can actually SEE the meat. Taylor offered up that he'd done ham this week. His eyes twinkled as he stated they were a little big and would I be up for it. Do me.

    The ham was 9 pounds. I carred that sucker back 5 blocks to my truck and drove home in haste.

    Ahhhh, good times.

     
  • At 19/1/07 09:56, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    It does look good Sam. I had some lovely Wiltshire ham off the bone today mmm very tasty. Can't decide whether to share with dad or keep the last little bit for my lunch tomorrow!!

     
  • At 19/1/07 13:26, Anonymous Barbara said…

    We always have a ham on the bone Christmas Eve. I'd be happy with this one Sam - it looks excellent.

     
  • At 19/1/07 13:29, Anonymous gingerprince said…

    Sam, you make a very good point there is nothing better on a cold evening than tucking into a baked ham. The trouble is since moving to the U.S I have been unable to find anywhere that sells uncooked hams so that one can enjoy the pleasures and aromas of making your own baked ham studded with cloves and smothered in a brown sugar and english mustard glaze, mmmmmm!

     
  • At 19/1/07 16:14, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Subtle? I'll just be the ass here. Too smoky. Too ashy. Unbelievably tender and moist, delicious in all other ways. Perfect salt, perfect "pink." Beautiful, in fact. But too smoky.
    All first-time meat smokers overdo it. Taylor will learn to lay back.

     
  • At 19/1/07 17:54, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Here, here to British ham! (and Colemans English Mustard, of course).

     
  • At 19/1/07 17:55, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Here, here to British ham! (and Colemans English Mustard, of course).

     
  • At 19/1/07 17:57, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Here, here to British ham! (and Colemans English Mustard, of course).

     
  • At 19/1/07 22:53, Anonymous Stefania@CityMama/FamilyFood said…

    Oh, don't poo-poo American ham just yet! I know that most people, heck even most Americans (at least those on the West Coast) think of sugar-coated, cloved-studded, dried out ham as ham, but we've always had Smithfield ham from Virginia for special occassions and holidays. These are worth seeking out. Think of a prosciutto that has been cured then cooked through. Smithfield hams are luscious, salty, and so good!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smithfield_ham

    We serve them very thinly sliced, practically shaved, on good rolls with...Coleman's mustard. Maybe I'll have you over one Christmas! :-) Must seek out that FC ham. Looks beautiful!

     
  • At 20/1/07 04:20, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    We've certainly got some great ham in Britain - in fact we've got fantastic produce all round. The problem has been that so many people have forgotten what good food tastes like and settled for what the supermarkets and fast food restaurants serve them up.

    Ironically it's often easier to get good imported ham than to find good locally sourced meat. I'm guilty myself - I buy ham flown in from Tuscany from the local Italisn deli.

    Many of the best restaurants here source their meat from good suppliers and I think things are gradually turning round with improved awareness in general. If I ever get my own restaurant I'll certainly do my best to promote locally reared and grown produce.

     
  • At 20/1/07 07:57, Blogger Vanessa said…

    Sam, I posted on ham this week too. Your photos sure beat mine though. We love ham and I love this post. Our ham comes from Willow Creek Farm and it is everything you could ever want in a ham...salty, dense, piggy pleasure with a great mouth feel.

    We're going to London in March and we are wondering if we will find good pork...any specific suggestions?

     
  • At 20/1/07 07:58, Blogger Sam said…

    thanks for all the comments - stefania - I do know about smithfield ham but after reading this article about this article, I am pretty certain I won't ever be eating it again. Too ashy or not, at least I know the pigs that made the Fatted Calf ham are Heritage and as such treated with respect.

     
  • At 20/1/07 08:00, Blogger Sam said…

    vanessa - I am a bit behind the times with london having now lived here for six years, but I am pretty certain you would love Borough Market and so look into that for a visit. I think it is on saturday mornings.

     
  • At 20/1/07 13:48, Blogger Anita said…

    I'm with Cookie -- the FC jambon is overly smoky. I love it anyway, though.

    Mmm... pork and stilton sandwiches at Borough Market, then sausages to take home from Ginger Pig.

     
  • At 22/1/07 08:53, Blogger drbiggles said…

    Overly smoky? How is that possible? Over the years I've found they vary to some degree, along with the bacon. But have never had one that was overly smoky. MmmMmM, smoke.

    Biggles

     
  • At 23/1/07 05:36, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I have great memories of the ham my Grandmother would buy when we visited her in County Durham. I haven't had anything like it since but then I suppose it is hard for reality to compete with rose tinted childhood memories!

     

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