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Dec 23, 2011

Preparing seasonal ham is serious business

Chef Rodriguez also prefers a traditional method for preparing the ham. His advice is that when you want the best flavor out of a cured ham, go easy on the additional seasoning.

Chef Patrick Rodriguez

“This is the tricky one. A lot of people tend to boil ham, they tend to do a lot of stuff with ham. But nowadays, with technology and all that stuff, ham is pre-cooked so there’s no reason for you to put a ham into a pot of water and boil it until it’s dead. That’s what we call it; they basically kill the ham you know. So what I will do is just use traditional ingredients, like I said; some honey. Put a little bit of honey here; not much just a little bit, enough to coat that ham; it’s about ten pounds.”

Marleni Cuellar

“Now, when the ham is cured like this one that we got from Southside, essentially all we’re trying to do is to seal in that additional flavor.”

Chef Patrick Rodriguez

“That’s all you wanna do. That’s why you have to be very careful what you put on it. You don’t wanna spoil the taste; this is a very well prepared ham so you don’t want to overpower it.”

Marleni Cuellar

“It looks ready to eat already.”

Chef Patrick Rodriguez

“That’s my point and most hams are nowadays, they’re ready to eat. I’ll add a little bit of brown sugar; just a little bit, not much. We don’t wanna make It too sweet. That would be about quarter of a cup. And then we’ll add a little bit of this pineapple juice. I would recommend using the concentrate because it gives it a little bit more body.”

Marleni Cuellar

“It’s thicker.”

Chef Patrick Rodriguez

“Yeah, it’s a little bit thicker and you get—just whip this up together a little bit. We’ll just take the knife, put a few cores into the ham; not too deep because when it bakes it opens up. You don’t want it to open up. You don’t want it to look like it’s…”

Marleni Cuellar

“Then you’ll have the ham looking all spikey.”

Chef Patrick Rodriguez

“Exactly, like it’s falling apart. I’ll take some cloves and right in the grooves that I created, I’ll stick a few cloves. Then I will just take this glaze and just go right over the top. Alright… then I’ll take a few slices of this pineapple. You can use fresh pineapple; it doesn’t have to be out of a can. You can always cut your pineapple. And same thing for the ham, I would just take a few pieces of foil and seal my pan and this would take about an hour to an hour and forty-five minutes maximum.”

The recommended temperature to bake a ham is three hundred and seventy-five degrees.

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