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The great ham hunt

The great ham hunt
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  • The great ham hunt

    Post #1 - June 20th, 2008, 2:19 am
    Post #1 - June 20th, 2008, 2:19 am Post #1 - June 20th, 2008, 2:19 am
    OK, so we are a small household and my shopping for large cured pork objects at this time of year normally tends to be limited. Nevertheless, I never expected it would so difficult to find a big smoked ham on the bone.

    I am sadder but wiser now, having visited Costco, Shop & Save, Meijer, Harvest Fresh, Garden Fresh, Jewel, Dominick's, Woodman's and Super Target. Yes, I know I probably should have given up sooner and tried butcher shops, but they aren't open in the evenings.

    There were no whole hams at all, or even half hams -- only centerless shank or butt portions. None had anything hammy larger than 10 pounds, and nearly all were boneless, spiral sliced or ham-and-water product devoid of skin and fat layer.

    So in the morning I will be on the phone to butcher shops. Any recommendations where to start -- preferably in the northwest/north suburbs or on the North or Northwest sides?
  • Post #2 - June 20th, 2008, 4:49 am
    Post #2 - June 20th, 2008, 4:49 am Post #2 - June 20th, 2008, 4:49 am
    I got a superb ham at Paulina for Easter. That would be my go to spot.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #3 - June 20th, 2008, 6:33 am
    Post #3 - June 20th, 2008, 6:33 am Post #3 - June 20th, 2008, 6:33 am
    Try Schmeisser's in Niles on Milwaukee near Howard. Although its been years since I shopped there, they used to have a smoke house and made in house sausage.
    Paulette
  • Post #4 - June 20th, 2008, 8:22 am
    Post #4 - June 20th, 2008, 8:22 am Post #4 - June 20th, 2008, 8:22 am
    LAZ, I've had good luck with the store-brand hams at Aldi; I don't remember if they have them year-round or not, but it's worth a call...
  • Post #5 - June 20th, 2008, 8:34 am
    Post #5 - June 20th, 2008, 8:34 am Post #5 - June 20th, 2008, 8:34 am
    You might try Sunset Foods in Northbrook and Highland Park.
  • Post #6 - June 20th, 2008, 12:20 pm
    Post #6 - June 20th, 2008, 12:20 pm Post #6 - June 20th, 2008, 12:20 pm
    We got a great ham at Kolatek's, 2445 N. Harlem for our daughter's christening. It was in the deli area and they were a bit surprised when we said we wanted the whole thing. :D
    It was very delicious, not too salty or smoky, very well balanced. I think it was about 12 pounds and about $38 if I recall correctly.
    LO
  • Post #7 - June 20th, 2008, 1:13 pm
    Post #7 - June 20th, 2008, 1:13 pm Post #7 - June 20th, 2008, 1:13 pm
    It's not quite in the area you're hoping for, but I was able to get a fresh ham (they called it a 'green' ham, I think) from Gepperth's. I probably could have picked up an entire ham, but I opted only for the shank end.

    I brined mine in 6L of coke -- it was great!

    GEPPERTH'S MARKET
    1964 N. Halsted Chicago, Il.
    (773)549-3883
    best,
    dan
  • Post #8 - June 20th, 2008, 2:49 pm
    Post #8 - June 20th, 2008, 2:49 pm Post #8 - June 20th, 2008, 2:49 pm
    The Grass-fed delivery folks mentioned in the other thread have bone-in smoked organic hams available. The pork these guys have is really excellent, in my opinion. Delivery's next Saturday, the 28th.
  • Post #9 - June 20th, 2008, 5:36 pm
    Post #9 - June 20th, 2008, 5:36 pm Post #9 - June 20th, 2008, 5:36 pm
    Niles Costco had spiral sliced hams in stock this am.

    If I remember correctly, I was distracted by the Costco Buffett, yummy plummy puffs were particularly tasty today, they were Cook's Spiral Sliced Hickory Smoked Honey Hams, which were the winners in a Cook's Illustrated Spiral Sliced Ham taste-off.
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #10 - June 20th, 2008, 6:04 pm
    Post #10 - June 20th, 2008, 6:04 pm Post #10 - June 20th, 2008, 6:04 pm
    G Wiv wrote:Niles Costco had spiral sliced hams in stock this am.

    If I remember correctly, I was distracted by the Costco Buffett, yummy plummy puffs were particularly tasty today, they were Cook's Spiral Sliced Hickory Smoked Honey Hams, which were the winners in a Cook's Illustrated Spiral Sliced Ham taste-off.

    Yes, my local one had those too, but they were small.

    Do you like spiral-sliced hams? My thought is that they tend to dry out quickly. Anyway, warming up a spiral-sliced ham doesn't really constitute cooking in my mind.

    My phone calls yielded several possibilities, of which the likeliest is Peoria Packing, whose price is good enough to justify a special trip downtown. (Which it's going have to be, first thing in the morning, since Himself, who was supposed to go there en route to a job nearby, got stuck on the Edens and couldn't get there before 5.)

    Schmeisser's did indeed have whole hams, but at $4.59 per pound. Not that I don't love you all, but $90 is more than I can afford to invest in the potluck.
  • Post #11 - June 20th, 2008, 6:09 pm
    Post #11 - June 20th, 2008, 6:09 pm Post #11 - June 20th, 2008, 6:09 pm
    LAZ wrote:Do you like spiral-sliced hams?

    Not particularly, just trying to be helpful
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #12 - June 22nd, 2008, 12:48 pm
    Post #12 - June 22nd, 2008, 12:48 pm Post #12 - June 22nd, 2008, 12:48 pm
    The great ham hunt ended successfully -- sort of -- yesterday at Peoria Packing. They didn't have much selection, either, but they did have half and whole hams. (The smoked hams, by the way, are in the deli side of the store, not where the fresh meats are -- although they do have fresh hams, too.)

    The only trouble was that the size choices were either 10 pounds or less or over 20 pounds. I wound up with a 23-pounder, which is the largest ham I've ever cooked in my life.

    The moral of the story is -- if you're thinking about making a ham in the "off-season," order ahead and be prepared to pay more than you would at the usual ham holiday times.

    Peoria Packing Butcher Shop
    1300 W. Lake St., Chicago
    312/738-1800

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