Ham Frying in Maple Syrup
This is a super simple recipe:
1 Ham steak
Some Maple Syrup
1 Cast Iron Frying Pan
Super simple, just fry in medium low until the meat is hot throughout but don’t overcook. The USDA says 145°F. The temperature of the pan should be low enough so as not to cause the syrup to boil – you want to keep it liquid, not make candy.
I use a cast iron frying pan because that is how I have always done it, how my parents did it, etc. Tradition. A stainless steel pan might work fine. I would not use copper as it could flavor the food. Cast iron gives some iron into the food cooked in it, so I’ve read, and that is an added benefit. Hard to believe given that cast iron pans seem to last forever. I wouldn’t use teflon or one of those types of non-stick coated pans because they can emit toxic fumes which I would rather not breath.
I only use real Vermont maple syrup but, then, well, that’s where I live. You could probably substitute New Hampshire maple syrup in a pinch, or maybe some from New York, Canada or some other syrup… Molasses might be an interesting substitute – A lot of these sorts of flavor are very regional as determined by local flavors and resources.
You might notice that this is a rind on ham. That layer of skin and fat is delicious. Because our pigs are raised on pasture/hay and dairy the fat has a delicious slightly sweet flavor even without the maple syrup. Animals like our pigs who are raised on pasture eating green forages also have been shown to have higher levels of the heart healthy Omega-3 Fatty Acids and CLAs in their fats. I was also told by a researcher from New York that their fats contain higher levels of vitamin D because they live outdoors and get so much exposure to the sun. Added bonuses of pasture raised pigs.
Outdoors: 10°F/-9°F Sunny
Tiny Cottage: 62°F/56°F
Daily Spark: “Life is not always a matter of holding good cards, but sometimes, playing a poor hand well.” -Jack London