sep 15, 2015
Sep 15, 2015
This humble dish is an example of the way black slaves cooked on Southern plantations, according to Princess Pamela, a chef who ran a small soul food restaurant on East 10th Street in Manhattan in the 1960s.
Baking the meat in milk is thought to help keep the ham tender and help draw out some of its salt.
Where to Buy: Country ham typically is sold in slices that are less than 1 inch thick, so ask your butcher to cut the 2-inch-thick slab that's needed here.
Tested size: 6-8 servings
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 2 heaping teaspoons powdered mustard
- 2 tablespoons light or dark brown sugar
- One 2-inch-thick slice country ham (2 3/4 to 3 pounds; rind on or off; see headnote)
- 4 to 8 cups whole milk, as needed
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Have at hand a shallow baking dish (such as a 9-by-13-inch casserole) that's not much larger than the ham slice itself.
Whisk together the flour, powdered mustard and brown sugar in a bowl. Rub the mixture all over the ham, then place the meat in the baking dish. Let it sit for 15 minutes, turning it over once, then pour in enough milk to just reach the top of the ham. Bake for 1 to 1 1/4 hours or until the ham is tender; its surface should be browned, and some of the milk should have evaporated. (Discard any remaining milk.)
Slice and serve warm.
Adapted from "Princess Pamela's Soul Food Cookbook: From Chicken n' Ribs to Buttermilk Biscuits and Blackeyed Peas, A Mouth-Watering Treasury of Afro-American Recipes From Manhattan's Most Spirited Chef," by Princess Pamela (Signet, 1969).
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.