It is the custom in some parts of the U.S. to hang hams, after special processing, for several years, after which time, of course, they develop a heavy exterior mold.
To prepare one of these old hams, soak it in cold water to cover for 24 to 36 hours. Then scrub it well, using a brush and yellow soap, if necessary, to remove the mold. Rinse thoroughly and place in a kettle of simmering water, skin side down. Allow 20 minutes to the pound until the meat reaches an internal heat of 150ø. Add to the water before last ¼ of cooking time: cider and ¼ cup of brown sugar.
Drain when the cooking time has elapsed. Remove the skin while the ham is still warm, being careful not to tear the fat. Trim the fat partially. Dust the ham with a mixture of black pepper, corn meal, and brown sugar.
Put in a 425ø oven long enough to glaze it. If you want more of a baked quality allow the ham to reach an internal heat of 160ø to 165ø. Serve hot or cold. Be sure to slice very, very thin.
Your Country Hams: Virginia, Smithfield, Kentucky, Etc. is ready. Good luck!
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