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Country Garden Ham

 

RECIPE BELOW BY THE GENTLE CHEF – (With kind permission)

Generously flavored with hickory smoke, brown sugar and warm spice, country garden ham is reminiscent of a natural uncured ham and can be served hot or cold. The ham can be finished with a savory tamari-black pepper glaze or a sweet and spicy brown sugar-mustard glaze included with the recipe, however any sweet, spicy or savory glaze can be used as desired. Spicy brown or Dijon mustard is the ideal condiment for enhancing the flavor of the sliced ham. This recipe yields about 1.1kgs

Ingredients

Aromatic Brine Ingredients

  •  2 and ¼ cup (540 ml) water
  • 3 T light brown sugar
  • 2 T mild vegetable oil
  • 2 T nutritional yeast flakes
  • 2 T red miso paste*
  • 2 T liquid hickory smoke
  • 2 and ¼ tsp fine sea salt or kosher salt
  • 1 T whole cloves
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp ground white pepper

Dry Ingredients

  • 2 cups (300 g) vital wheat gluten
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 T onion powder
  • 1 T garlic powder

Pan-Browning Ingredient

  • 2 T non-dairy butter or margarine

Additional Item Needed

  • 18-inch wide heavy-duty aluminum foil

*If you cannot obtain red miso paste, substitute with 1 tablespoon tamari, soy sauce or Bragg Liquid Aminos™ and 1 tablespoon tomato paste, although this will alter the finished flavor to a degree.

Optional Tamari-Black Pepper Glaze Ingredients

  • 2 T tamari, soy sauce or Bragg Liquid Aminos™
  • coarse ground smoked black pepper or coarse ground black pepper, to taste

Optional Brown Sugar-Mustard Glaze Ingredients

  • 2 T dark brown sugar
  • 1 T prepared Dijon or spicy mustard
  • 1 tsp tamari, soy sauce or Bragg Liquid Aminos™
  • 1 tsp liquid hickory smoke

Preparing the Aromatic Brine

In a saucepan, bring the water to a brief boil and then remove from the heat. Add the remaining aromatic brine ingredients and stir until the sugar, yeast, miso and salt dissolves. Let the mixture cool to near room temperature (the mixture must cool before proceeding; do not add hot brine to the dry ingredients!)
Meanwhile, thoroughly mix together the dry ingredients in large mixing bowl; set aside.
Preparing the Dough Warning! It is very important to use only heavy-duty aluminum foil for this recipe. Regular foil is not sturdy enough and can easily rupture from steam pressure which builds up inside the sealed package.
Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C.
Strain the aromatic brine through a fine sieve into the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl and discard the strained solids (straining will remove any whole and undissolved seasoning sediment).
Combine thoroughly with a silicone spatula to develop the gluten. Let the dough rest 10 minutes to allow the dry ingredients to absorb as much liquid as possible.
Tear off a sheet of foil (about 18-inches) and place it on your work surface. Place the dough directly on top.
Form the dough into a round mass. The dough will be soft and have a tendency to spread out but try to keep it as compact as you can. Now, lift the edge of the foil over the dough and begin rolling into a cylinder, pinching the ends closed simultaneously while rolling. The goal is to create a thick, compact, cylindrical package. This may take practice, so be patient. Twist the ends tightly to seal, being careful not to tear the foil. Bend the twisted ends in half to lock them tight.
Wrap with an additional large sheet of foil and twist the ends tightly to completely seal the package. If the foil tears at any point while twisting the ends, rewrap in a third sheet of foil. Place directly on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 2 hours.
Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature. Never attempt to open the package while it is hot or steam burns can result. Refrigerate the ham in the foil wrapper for a minimum of 8 hours before finishing, or for a maximum of 1 week. This will firm and enhance the texture. The ham can also be frozen for up to 3 months.

Finishing the Ham

Tamari-Pepper Glaze Option

Let the wrapped ham come to room temperature for about 1 hour before finishing. Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C.
In a skillet, lightly brown the ham on all sides in 2 tablespoons of non-dairy butter or margarine over medium heat. Add the tamari and continue to glaze the ham until nicely browned and then season with black pepper to taste. Transfer the ham to a baking dish, cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board or serving platter for slicing.

Brown Sugar-Mustard Glaze Option

Let the wrapped ham come to room temperature for about 1 hour before finishing. Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C.
Mix together the glaze ingredients in a small dish until the sugar dissolves; set aside.
In a skillet, brown the ham on all sides in 2 tablespoons of non-dairy butter or margarine over medium heat. Transfer the ham to baking dish and brush to coat evenly with the glaze. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board or serving platter for slicing. Holiday seitan ham is delicious served hot, cold or room temperature. Thick ham slices are ideal for pan-grilling too.

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