Smoked ham with cloves and a deep fried fat skin|
- 5 pounds ham, using the shank end
- 1 cup honey
- ¼ cup mustard
- ½ stick of butter
- 1 tablespoon of flour
- ¼ cup of sugar
- ¼ cup of water
- Applewood woodchips
- 2 cups of brown sugar
- 2 cups of salt
- 1 and ½ gallons of water
- A few pinches of clove, rosemary and thyme
- ½ pound of pork belly
- 2 teaspoons of salt and pepper
The Drägar Shinken is a meal associated with prestige. Often found as the centerpiece of any good feast, the Drägar is a glazed, smoked ham. Upon closer inspection, one would find the surface of the ham to have been scored finely, and the entirety of it wrapped in a layer of crispy pork belly. Over top, a fine gloss of honey mixture adds an appealing sheen. It was birthed from the lavishness of the Van Sherburnes, and was frequently seen decorating the plates of many attending their events. Being the complicated recipe that it is, the dish is only accessible to trained chefs, or those with enough money to hire them.
The creation of the dish can be traced to a few years prior to the Drachenwald Crisis, in the height of the Van Sherburnes’ displays of wealth. They requested a dish as sumptuous as the rest of their endeavors. The chefs in the employment of the family competed fiercely, to garner favor from their employers. The only requirements were that the dish had to be visually appealing, feed a lot of guests, and represent their region well. For this reason, the chefs used ham as their base. Many came forward, offering their own variants, with a plethora of different spices. After a few months of fruitless trials, one submission came in that was vastly different than the others. The adjudicators in charge of selecting the dish were astounded by its look and taste. The Drägar Shinken, unlike the family who commissioned it, was able to survive and thrive after the Crisis.
First, Prepare a brine for your ham. In a large pot, mix your water, brown sugar, 2 cups of salt, thyme and rosemary. Bring it to a boil before letting it cool completely. Submerge your ham, then leave in a cool place for two days total. After the two days, drain your brine and leave your ham to dry on a grate for a full day. Prepare your marinade just before you cook the meat. In a pan, mix your honey, mustard, excess sugar, butter, flour and water. Bring these to a boil, stirring constantly to incorporate all of the ingredients. Set this mixture aside for application later. When the ham has dried, use a knife to score cut criss-crossed diagonal lines through the meat, about an inch apart. Tuck whole cloves into each incision to dress it up. Now, bring out your pork belly and rub in salt and pepper. Cut it into long sheets about half an inch in length, and wrap this around your ham. Use twine to secure it, if it begins to slide off. Choose a smoker for your meat, though this can be done in a stone oven or on a rotisserie over a fire. The total cooking process is three hours in length, and must be monitored closely. Start a decently sized fire with your wood chips, being sure to keep it alive as the ham cooks. After two hours, increase the size of the fire, and bring out your marinade. Using a brush, apply the marinade every fifteen to twenty minutes, on every surface. After the three hours has passed, remove the roast, plate, and serve immediately.
- The Drägar Shinken was created with visual appeal in mind. The pork belly that had been wrapped around becomes crispy, in stark contrast to the the tender ham below. Having been added last, the honeyed glaze darkens slightly and adds a golden lustre.
- Essentially a slowly cooked roast, this dish smells as any cooked pork would, a mixture of the ham and crispy pork belly that had been toasted for the outside layer. The brine and glaze add a sweet undertone to the scent.
- The taste and feel was conceived with contrast in mind. When taking a bite, the first thing one would taste is the sweetness of the glaze, followed by the savory crunch of the porkbelly. Soon after, they’d taste the faint smoky flavor of the applewood chips, and the well-seasoned tenderness of the ham itself.
- Although the dish seems easy to recreate at first glance, the timings and measurements of each step is precise. Any deviation could potentially ruin the entire dish.
HydraLana on 10/8/2017.|
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