Donna's StoryAn absolute favorite southern breakfast, especially during the holidays, is country ham and red-eye gravy with biscuits. Several years ago a true southern gentleman gave me a few tips on how to cook country ham to a tender delight and an easy delicious red-eye gravy.
Country hams are salt-cured for one to three months. They may be hardwood (usually hickory and red oak) smoked, then aged for several months to 2–3 years, depending on the fat content of the meat. Country hams are not fully cooked, but preserved by the cure. Red-eye gravy is a thin sauce made from the ham drippings.
slices of country ham, packaged or fresh
6 - 12 oz
coke, regular, diet, or caffeine-free
sugar or packet of sweetner (depending on how much gravy you are preparing, you may need 2 teaspoons)
about 1/2 cup brewed coffee, regular or decaf
1Preheat oven to 350°. With the side of a large knife, scrape both sides of country ham to remove any whiteish residue from the ham, if there is any. (This is an important step). Discard residue. Do not remove fat from the ham at this point. Place country ham in a 9 x 13 baking dish or a large iron skillet. Pour about 1/2 can of coke over ham, this depends on how many slices you are preparing. (I usually cook 2 large slices and use 1/2 can [6 ozs.] of coke). Cover ham loosely with aluminum foil and bake about 20 minutes or until tender. Be sure and reserve juices from ham. Trim the fat from the ham. In a skillet on top of the stove, pour reserved ham juices, add sugar or packet of sweetner and about 1/2 cup brewed coffee. Heat until boiling. Pour into serving container. Enjoy with ham, some hot biscuits and scrambled eggs.