For many people it is difficult to decide how to prepare a ham. Some like to buy already prepared hams whereas others prefer to make ham from scratch at home. There is absolutely no wrong answer to this question. You don’t have to make ham from scratch unless you have some serious time on your hands. Most people I know prefer to make homemade Italian sausage which is very similar to ham.
If you go to your local supermarket and look around at the selection of Italian sausage, there is no way you will make a decision on what type to buy. Most of the grocery shoppers have little or no experience cooking with Italian sausage. How to prepare a ham is the next question that comes to mind. The first thing you need to know is that there are several different types of Italian hams to choose from. Most of the hams that are available today are already precooked.
Some of the more traditional Italian ham recipes call for seasoned ham. This would include ham bone, salt, pepper, garlic, and herbs. These ingredients can be combined in various ways and cooked in different amounts of time. These methods can be achieved by using aluminum foil, cooking them in three degrees f (medium) heat, turning them periodically, and baking them on a hot oven.
In my family we like to make a traditional Italian ham and cheese soup using Italian vegetable stock and ham bone. The only tools required are a wire cutter and a food processor. I always use the smaller processor so that I am not chopping large pieces of the ham. I always start with about one and a half cups of the stock and add a quarter cup of the white wine, a quarter cup of the cheese, and two thirds of a cup of the ham glaze. I let this mixture simmer on a sauce pan over low heat. It can be done a day or two ahead of the holidays.
Another favorite way to prepare Italian dishes is to cook them in a crockpot. Crockpots are very versatile pieces of equipment which allows you to cook many different types of dishes including soups, stews, and other hearty meals. Cooking them in a crockpot requires only about three to four minutes per pound of meat or fish.
The traditional Italian dish that I like to eat is risotto. If you do not want to make it in a crockpot, you can still bake it in the oven. You can either use a traditional Italian bread recipe or you can use a crock pot version of this dish. In this recipe, I use Romano cheese to spread on top of the ham and then arrange the vegetables on top. I usually use about four cups of water along with about one tablespoon of dried Italian herbs such as Rosemary and garlic. I let this cook on the stove while I wait for the crockpot to bring the water to a boil so that the vegetables can begin to cook.
Boneless, skinless, leg of lamb is the best type of meat to use when making this dish. You can find these cuts of meat at most butcheries or even your local supermarket. After you remove the fat from around the animal, cut off about a quarter inch from the end of the ribs and then remove a small bit more than that to create a vacuum. When you add the liquid to the pot, stir to mix everything together. Cover the pot and set the pot and lid on the warm oven for about an hour.
Once an hour or so, remove the ham per person from its package and place it in the baking pan to cook. Remove the ham per person from its baking pan and place it in the crockpot. Bring the crockpot to a boil and add about one cup of the Italian herbs that you prepared, as well as about a half a cup of water. Cover the crockpot and let it heat up for about twenty minutes. Then, remove the ham per person from its packaging and shred it against the grain using a food processor.