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The Smallest Ham

I might have mentioned that I made a sort of resolution this year to not buy factory farmed meat. This means that every piece of meat we eat costs more, yes, but it also means that we less meat. We have meat meals once or twice a week (but we often have leftovers). I’m not always successful (John & I try to eat out at places that have similar values but it’s not always possible, and feeding the kiddos often leads to whatever hot dogs were on sale). But there are great convenience brands that have hormone free chicken and thanks to Applegate Farms, I can eat cold cuts.

We have been purchasing from Mini Mac Farm  and love the quality of the meat and friendly people who own it. We have a meat budget of only $50/month; this means that we eat a lot of chicken and I find the most affordable cuts of meat. Since it’s not exactly close, I try to buy 2-3 month’s worth of meat at time. The last time I picked up meat, I had ordered chicken, sirloin steaks, bacon (of course), sausage and a petite ham. The petite ham is almost two pounds of fresh (uncured) ham. I have cooked fresh ham before, so this was a little daunting. There are very few recipes I could even find on the internet. The few that I did find suggested brining. Brining is a wonderful way to prepare meat, BUT it takes a long time and you have to plan it out in advance. Since I’m with the kids all day (and a lot of the evening), taking time out to brine and then prep a ham to roast simply isn’t practical.

I had a big Saturday planned, too: painting the 3 year old’s new bedroom. The slow cooker seemed to be the best solution.

We got some gorgeous fresh onions from our Co-Op share this week, so I quartered them and threw them in the bottom, then piled on some carrots, then the ham. I seasoned it with salt and lots of black pepper, than splashed in some soy sauce, the juice from 3 oranges (what I had on the counter) and brown sugar. It smelled great as it was cooking!

The end result was all right. I think I will try to find a hormone free smoked ham option next. There are more tender cuts of fresh pork (shoulder, loin) that I will stick to in the mean time.

Here are some photos:

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Filed under Family, Food