I know that Julia braises a whole ham (MAFC I 391). But hey, I grew up on fried ham. So this is country fried French.
The secret is of course good ham. And we have that in Iowa. It's not as good as Kentucky, those southern smoked hams. But damned good, especially if you can get some old genes (heirloom) pork.
For 4 people
1 to 1.5 pound excellent smoked ham, cut 3/8 to 1/2 inch thick
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon brandy
1/4 cup Madeira OR port
1 shallot or scallion white, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 cup creme fraiche OR no-fat sour cream
1/2 cup pot roast gravy OR 1/2 cup beef stock mixed with 1 tablespoon Wondra
1 tablespoon chopped parsley or scallion greens
- Heat a large skillet on medium high and add the olive oil and butter. Warm the oven.
- Add the ham, cut into 4-5 ounce portions and patted dry. Saute until the edges begin to blacken, about 3 minutes.
- Meanwhile, mince the shallot or scallion and chop the parsley or scallion green. Mix the liquids.
- When the ham is browned, remove it to a plate, cover with another plate, and place in the warm oven.
- Add the shallot to the skillet and cook 30 seconds.
- Add the wine, gravy or stock, brandy, tomato paste, and cream. Stir until smooth.
- Pour any accumulated juices from the ham into the sauce, then distribute the ham onto four plates and pour on the sauce. Garnish with parsley or scallion greens.