Thursday, March 28, 2013

Bacon-wrapped BBQ Ham

I'm sure all I had to say was "bacon-wrapped" and you were sold! This sweet, tangy, and savory dish will warm your soul. It is sure to be a favorite with bacon fans!

 -Long strips of bacon (any kind of smokey flavor and seasoning is appropriate)
 -Ham shank cut into thick rectangles
 -Your favorite BBQ sauce
 -Shredded cheddar cheese

Your ham shank should be pre-cooked when you purchase it. If for some reason it isn't, cooking one of those well is another beast in, and of, itself. So, let's assume your ham is cooked. At my house we cook the whole ham, then cut it up and freeze it in ziplock baggies. A whole ham shank can last us 2-3 weeks, and at $1.50/lb, it is waaaaay cheaper than getting most any other kind of meat. But I digress... I'm sure you are more excited to hear about the bacon!

I used long rectangular pieces of ham small enough that it only takes 1-2 strips of bacon to wrap the piece completely. As I wrapped the ham, I overlapped the sides of the bacon. being careful not to stretch the bacon width-wise. Otherwise, the bacon-to-ham ratio would have been somewhat less than desirable. I placed the bacon-wrapped ham on a cookie sheet with the ends of the bacon down; this keeps the bacon from pulling away from the ham. I put a little bit of BBQ sauce in a strip across the top, keeping in mind that the how tangy-sweet the sauce is. Too much sauce would overpower the flavor of the meat, and too little wouldn't bring enough flavor. Finally, I garnished the ham with some shredded cheddar cheese. I broiled it in the oven just long enough to brown the bacon and give it a little crisp.

When I took my first bite, I was surprised at how moist the ham was. I believe this could be because the ham was moist enough when it was originally cooked, and broiling it cooked the bacon quickly enough that the ham didn't lose a ton of moisture. The BBQ sauce added some moisture and smokiness, complementing the bacon very nicely. The melted cheese added a nice texture element, and the crispy-outside, moist and soft inside was reminiscent of the texture of perfectly-cooked pork chops. My mouth is literally watering right now thinking of it!

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