Ray Ray Simple Sammy

25 03 2010

 

One great benefit of yesterday’ preparation was the leftover aioli. A chance encounter with a store that had some Westphalian ham and simply prepared vision of decadence was revealed. I am sharing this more in the spirit of great eats with great friends than actually dispensing any useful culinary advice; although making this sandwich could be a whole episode on Rachel Ray. At least the aioli from yesterday requires some redeeming effort. But when you get something great like this ham paired with fresh bread and fresh accoutrements, well it’s a combination that is  hard to beat (especially with a glass of wine). But wait-what is this piece of porky pleasure? What is Westphalian ham? A History of Food by Maguelonne Toussaint-Samat relates that

“(a)lthough the Gauls are sometimes said to have invented ham, it does not actually seem to have been a specialty that originated in what is now France. The forests of Westphalia contained herds of pigs which roamed almost free, and were famous for the flavor of their flesh. Westphalian ham, dry-salted and then smoked as it still is today, was very popular with the Romans and making the fortunes of Germanic tribesmen 2000 years ago. The poet Martial was one of many who liked it. Cato recommends treating the hams from Italian pigs in the same way….”

Ah those Romans, is it any wonder they knew how to throw a party? The Westphalian swine dine on a diet rich in acorns, much like the prized Iberian hams. The Westphalian hams are then smoked with Beechwood and juniper branches giving it a distinct flavor. A fresh baked roll, a little aioli, Westphalian ham, garden fresh lettuce and tomato and a dusting of parmesan cheese and a glass of wine; it can make the world so right I even begin to think Rachel may have a point of wisdom here…nah.

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5 responses

26 03 2010
tasteofbeirut

HI Doc!
That ham looks great! I used to find a ham called “jambon de Paris” in some supermarkets until they stopped carrying it; I wonder if it would taste similar;in any case, they stopped carrying it, it was the ham we used to eat in Paris very light pink in color and delicious.
Oh for the lebanese nachos, any yogurt is good! Ciao!

26 03 2010
whatscookingwithdoc

Thanks-finally found some large pearl semolina couscous today! This ham is a little different due to the beechwood and juniper smoking, I think.

26 03 2010
partnersinwineclub

Oh Doc, This looks good, and you are making me regret my trip to NYC on Wed this week, I had a chance to buy some Prosciutto San Danielle from Italy, not US made…oh what a sweet sammy I would be eating right now!

Chef E
http://cookappeal.blogspot.com/

10 04 2011
Joshua

so I live right in the heart of Pennsylvania dutch country, and my friend has a smoker. I’m going to make a similar ham with my first paycheck. I’d be happy to slice you a couple pounds and see if you like it once its done. if you’re interested shoot me an email.

11 04 2011
What's Cooking with Dr. Mike: The Grassroots Gourmet™

@Josh:
Thanks Josh,
Not sure how well it will travel, but most importantly, please let me know how you like it!

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