Average Cost, 9d. per lb., for the prime parts.
Wide Distribution of the Hog.—The hog is one of the most widely distributed of animals. It is found even in places where the inhabitants are semi-barbarous, and where the wild species is unknown. When the South Sea Islands were first discovered, they were found to be well-stocked with a small black species of hog, the traditionary belief of the islanders being that the animals were coeval with themselves. They had no knowledge of the wild boar from which the domestic breed might be supposed to be derived. The hog is the principal quadruped of the South Sea Islands, and is fed upon the fruit of the bread-tree, yams, and other vegetables, a diet which renders the flesh juicy, rich in fat, and delicate in flavour.
1136.—TO BAKE A HAM. (Fr.—Jambon rôti.)
Ingredients.—Ham, a common crust.
Method.—As a ham for baking should be well soaked, let it remain in water for at least 12 hours. Wipe it dry, trim away any rusty places underneath, and cover it with a common crust, taking care that this is of sufficient thickness to keep in the gravy. Place the ham in a moderately heated oven, and bake for nearly 4 hours. Take off the crust, and skin, and cover with raspings, the same as for boiled ham, and garnish the knuckles with a paper frill.
1137.—TO BOIL A HAM. (Fr.—Jambon bouilli.)
Ingredients.—Ham, water, glaze or raspings.
Method.—In choosing a ham, ascertain that it is perfectly sweet, by running a sharp knife into it, close to the bone; if, when the knife is withdrawn, it has an agreeable smell, the ham is good; but, on the contrary, should the blade have a greasy appearance and offensive smell, the ham is bad. If it has been long hung, and it is very dry and salt, let it remain in soak for 24 hours, changing the water frequently. This length of time is only necessary in the case of the ham being very hard; from 8 to 12 hours would be sufficient for a Yorkshire or Westmoreland ham. Wash it thoroughly clean, and trim away from the under-side all the rusty and smoked parts, which would spoil the appearance. Put it into a boiling-pot, with sufficient cold water to cover it, bring it gradually to boil, and carefully remove the scum as it rises. Keep it simmering very gently until tender, and be careful that it does not stop boiling nor boil too quickly. When done take it out of the pot, strip off the skin, sprinkle over it a few bread-raspings, put a frill of cut paper round the knuckle, and serve. If to be eaten cold, let the ham remain in the water until nearly cold; by this method the juices are kept in, and it will be found infinitely superior to one taken out of the water hot. When the skin is removed, sprinkle over bread-raspings, or glaze it.
Time.— A ham weighing 10 lb., 4 hours to simmer gently; 15 lb., 5 hours; a very large one about 6 hours. Average Cost, from 1s. per lb., by the whole ham.
1138.—TO BOIL A HAM. (Another Method.)
Ingredients.—Vinegar and water, 1 head of celery (or less), 2 turnips, 3 onions, a large bunch of savoury herbs.