In my post on Benton’s Country Hams, I noted that the “Aged Whole Country Ham Deboned & Trimmed” with product code AWCHDT promises to deliver a number of pre-sliced ham steaks plus the bone and skin wrapped separately. The latter doesn’t sound particularly interesting so the two wrapped parcels I received with my cryovac’d steaks had languished in my fridge for a couple of months. Well, the other day I took the butcher paper off.
This is totally unexpected bounty which will season half a dozen pots full of beans and ham, starting with the soup I made last night. Benton’s “trim” seems to include anything that can’t easily be sawed into a steak, so the package had quite a bit of accessible meat that could be left in, or sliced off as a treat for the cook.
I wish I had taken a picture when I first unwrapped the package because the pieces were covered with lots of spots of mold. I simply scraped them off with a paring knife, wiped it down with a moist paper towel, and the results were as you see here. All part of the aging process, so don’t be squeamish.
Speaking of which, a reader in a warm climate told me she ordered and got a package of ham that looked grey and had an off taste. I corresponded with Tommy at Benton’s and he confirmed that they ship worldwide without ice because the ham is, after all, cured. I put the two in touch and hopefully some resolution was reached to the satisfaction of this first time customer.
If you are concerned, take note of the tracking number in the email you’ll receive from Benton’s and make sure you are not out of town when it arrives, especially during the summer months here in the U.S.