Ham: Everything you should know about our favourite Christmas meat.

by Oliver Hagen December 10, 2014 2 min read

Ham: Everything you should know about our favourite Christmas meat.

With Christmas rapidly approaching, it’s time to think about that special ham for the big day. Here at Hagens we pride ourselves on producing our own hams. These hams go through a traditional process of pickling, brining and wood smoking in our local Richmond HQ.

We only use locally sourced free range Berkshire pork for our hams. This is very important to us, as Australia now imports over $9.4 million worth of overseas pork each week, with all of this going in to processed pork products. Many of the hams you see at the supermarket are made from imported pork products, but as they are processed in Australia, they are allowed to display the label “Made in Australia”. Our whole hams are 100% free range pork from our amazing suppliers.

Our hams are made in a traditional method that takes a bit longer, but results in a superior ham. Our hams are free from preservatives, flavour enhancers, phosphates and synthetic nitrates. These ‘nitrate free’ hams, use a celery powder based cure. The celery based cure has a naturally occurring nitrate, and is free from any harmful synthetic chemicals. Nitrate is typically used as a preservative and colour enhancer for the ham.
After the pickling and brining process our hams are transferred to our kiln for smoking. We use English Beech and smoke the hams for a minimum of 12 hours. This traditional method is more costly than using ‘liquid smoke’ or spraying the hams with smoke flavoured liquids used on cheaper hams.

Our hams are the best you can get for your Christmas dinner, as we use traditional methods to achieve the best tasting results. Our hams are from superior local free range suppliers, and our nitrate free processing is the best for you. Many hams you might see at the supermarket are hybrids of different pork products from around the world, whilst our Hagen hams are 100% local whole hams.

Visiting the Australian Pork (http://www.pork.com.au/home-page-consumer/buying-australian/buying-australian.aspx) website gives you some handy pointers to make sure you are getting an Australian whole ham. If in doubt look for the pink Australian Pork logo.

After serving your perfect glazed ham for Christmas dinner, make sure you follow a few simple rules to make sure that the ham lasts for more than just a couple of post Christmas sarnies. Keeping the ham in a ‘ham bag’ in the fridge will give it the best life. Make sure you wash the ham bag every few days to keep it clean. If you wish to freeze the ham, cut the slices and wrap in aluminium foil, not cling film, before freezing.

To secure your Hagens Christmas ham please order online, or drop in to any Hagens shop and chat to the staff or order online. But move quickly as Christmas is just around the corner!