Black forest ham is a popular type of cured meat that originates from Germany, specifically the Black Forest region. It’s known for its distinct smoky flavor with a hint of sweetness and saltiness. If you’re wondering how to cook black forest ham, you’ve come to the right place.
In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about cooking this tasty treat in different ways.
Brief History of Black Forest Ham
Black forest ham dates back to the early 18th century when it was first produced by farmers in the Black Forest region. They would cure pork legs with salt and other herbs and spices, then hang them up to dry for several months before smoking them over fir wood. The result was a flavor-packed, long-lasting meat that could be enjoyed throughout the year.
Nutritional Value of Black Forest Ham
Like most types of ham, black forest ham is high in protein but also contains fat and sodium. Although it can be part of a healthy diet in moderation, it’s important not to consume too much due to its high sodium content.
Choosing Black Forest Ham
Before cooking your black forest ham, it’s important to choose the right one. Here are some factors to consider:
- Quality: Look for hams that have been made using traditional methods and quality ingredients.
- Brand: Choose reputable brands that have a good reputation for producing quality cured meats.
- Type: There are different types of black forest hams available such as boneless or bone-in, smoked or unsmoked.
- Price: High-quality black forest ham may cost more than other hams but is worth the investment for the depth of flavor.
Different Ways to Cook Black Forest Ham
Baking Black Forest Ham
Baking your black forest ham is a great way to cook it if you want it crispy on the outside yet tender on the inside. Here are the steps:
- Preheat your oven to 325°F.
- Score the ham’s fat with a sharp knife in a diamond pattern.
- Place the ham in a baking pan and bake for around 10-15 minutes per pound of meat.
- Cover the ham loosely with aluminum foil halfway through cooking to prevent it from drying out.
- When done, remove from the oven and let it rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing.
Grilling Black Forest Ham
Grilling your black forest ham is another great option if you want a smoky flavor with crisp edges. Here are the steps:
- Preheat your grill to medium-high heat.
- Lightly oil the grill grates to prevent sticking.
- Place the ham on the grill and cook for around 5-8 minutes per side until crispy on the outside and heated through on the inside.
- Remove from grill and let it rest for a few minutes before slicing.
Boiling/Steaming Black Forest Ham
Boiling or steaming your black forest ham is ideal if you want a more tender, juicy texture without any added crispiness or smokiness.
- Place the ham in a large pot filled with enough water to cover it completely.
- Bring to boil then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for around 20-25 minutes per pound of meat or until an internal temperature of 145°F is reached.
- Remove from heat and let it rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing.
Cooking with Black Forest Ham
In addition to serving as a main dish, black forest ham can also be used as an ingredient in other dishes such as salads, sandwiches, pasta sauces, etc…Here are some recipe ideas:
Penne Pasta With Asparagus And Black Forest Ham Recipe
- 12oz penne pasta
- 1 1/2 cups chopped asparagus
- 1/3 cup chopped black forest ham
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cook pasta according to package instructions.
- In a saucepan, sauté garlic and asparagus in olive oil until tender.
- Add the ham and cook for another minute.
- Drain pasta and add it to the mixture.
- Mix in Parmesan cheese and add salt & pepper to taste.
Croissant Sandwich With Black Forest Ham & Egg Recipe
- 2 croissants
- 4 slices of black forest ham
- 2 eggs, scrambled
- Sliced tomato and lettuce leaves (optional)
- Mustard or mayo to taste
Preparation time: 10 minutes
- Slice the croissants in half lengthwise.
- Spread mustard or mayo on each side of the croissant.
- Layer ham, scrambled egg, lettuce and tomato slice evenly on one half of the sandwich.
- Top with other half of croissant.
- Serve as it is or heat up sandwich slightly before serving.
Mini Quiche With Mushrooms And Black Forest Ham Recipe
- 6 eggs
- 3/4 cup milk
- Salt and pepper
- 6 slices of black forest ham diced in small pieces
- Half an onion sliced thinly
- Butter for greasing muffin tins -8 oz mushrooms
- Fresh parsley chopped finely
- Cooking spray
Cooking time: around 35 minutes
1.Preheat oven to 350°F.
2.Melt butter in a frying pan over medium heat Sautee onions until translucent then add mushrooms into the frying pan. Sauté until done.
- Grease 8 muffin tins with butter or cooking spray 4.Mix eggs, milk salt and pepper in a measuring cup or mixing bowl. 5.Fill each muffin cup with mushrooms and ham mix. 6.Pour egg mixture into each muffin cups. 7.Top everything off with chopped parsley and bake for around 20-25 minutes or until set.
Serving Suggestions for Cooked Black Forest Ham
Black forest ham can be served as is, alongside a variety of sides such as salads, roasted vegetables, potato dishes, etc. It also pairs well with beverages like wine or beer.
- Red Wine: Cabernet Sauvignon or Zinfandel
- White Wine: Viognier or Chardonnay
- Beer: Belgian Dubbel Ale or German Lager
Side Dish Suggestions:
- Roasted Brussels sprouts
- Mashed Potatoes
- Steamed Vegetables
- Warm Potato Salad
- Garlic Bread
Storing Leftover Cooked Black Forest Ham
If you have leftover black forest ham, it’s essential to store it properly to avoid spoilage. Here are some tips:
- Wrap the ham tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil to prevent exposure to air
- Store in the refrigerator for up to five days
- Freeze the ham in an airtight container if you plan on keeping it longer than five days.
Ways To Repurpose Leftover Cooked Black Forest Ham
Here are some ideas on how to repurpose leftover black forest ham:
- Make omelets or frittatas by adding diced black forest ham along with your favorite vegetables and cheese.
- Add diced pieces of black forest ham into stir-fries
- Use all types of fried rice recipes by adding diced pieces of black forest into them. 4.Put small portions of black forest ham in tortillas to make a variety of unique wraps.
In conclusion, cooking black forest ham can seem daunting at first, but with the above tips and recipes, it’s easy to create delicious meals for you and your family. Choose high-quality hams, cook them properly, and use them in different dishes to get the most out of this delectable cured meat. Whether you prefer baking, grilling or boiling/steaming, there’s no limit to what you can do with black forest ham!
- Q: What is black forest ham? A: Black forest ham is a type of cured and smoked pork that originates from the Black Forest region in Germany. It’s made from the hind leg of the pig and has a distinct smoky flavor.
- Q: How should I prepare black forest ham before cooking? A: Before cooking, it’s recommended to remove the packaging and let the ham come to room temperature for 30 minutes. This allows for more even cooking. You can also trim any excess fat or rind from the outside of the ham if desired.
- Q: What’s the best way to cook black forest ham? A: There are various ways you can cook black forest ham depending on your preferences, but one popular method is roasting it in the oven at 350°F for about 20 minutes per pound. Some people also like to glaze their ham with a mixture of brown sugar and mustard for added flavor.
- Q: Can I use leftover black forest ham for other dishes? A: Yes! Leftover black forest ham can be used in a variety of recipes such as omelets, quiches, sandwiches, and soups. You can also chop it up and add it to salads or pasta dishes for extra protein and flavor.