A long running Southern tradition is Virginia ham. It is also called Smithfield hams after the oldest & most famous ham company is call Smithfield ham, or it may also be called country ham. You can get these hams at a variety of places, but the original Smithfield Ham is a touch above. They really do make the most incredible, long smoked hams. This country ham (or Virginia ham) cooking style is a variety of cured ham and its very salty. It originated in rural parts of North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Kentucky, and obviously, Virginia.
Country hams are salt-cured & hardwood smoked, then aged for several months. Die hard traditionalists will even age theirs for years, but I’m not in that camp. Country hams are preserved by the cure which means you can slice off small slivers and enjoy it for a long time.
I ordered a Smithfield Ham so that I could share this Southern tradition with you. Notice that bright red color from the smoking. They send an optional glaze for you to make if you want. Who am I to turn down brown sugar goodness? I’m drooling just watching it simmer!
What’s more southern than ham? Maybe serving it with a side of garden grown green beans!
Drizzle the brown sugar goodness over the top of the ham. Then slice as thinly as possible. The ham is very salty so you want to make sure you don’t cut out chunks. The long slow smoke with a rich salt rub is what gives it the unique flavor. It’s meant to be savored & shared with friends. If you eat like you would a steak, then you will feel the moisture just suck right out of you from all of that salt. This is a rich, salty treat best enjoyed on a soft, fluffy biscuit with garden vegetables!