Monday, January 3, 2011

New Years Day At Almost Heaven South

Time to change header shots, and I thought I'd put this up so I could see it every day and drool a while longer.

My normal bedtime is around 9pm (don’t laugh, I get up early) and it’s been a few years since I last saw the ball drop, so New Years Eve parties are pretty much out of the question at Almost Heaven South. To compensate, we invited a few friends over New Years afternoon to help us get the year started off right with a little eating, football watching, visiting, and otherwise serious laying around.

Since it was a several hour affair, we wanted to serve food items that were available for a long period and required little attention from us so the items we provided were:

Pulley-ham for sandwiches
Hoppin Johns with greens (for luck & wealth)
Manhattan clam chowder
Reuben dip with rye bread

And our guests brought:
Swedish meatballs

My plan is to spread the posts over a few days beginning with the ham – which is too easy. We just used you basic supermarket on-sale ham half – a whole one works even better. We put it in a pan, cut side down, added a couple of beers (your favorite), covered with foil, and cooked at 250* to a 205* internal temp (about 8 hours) - basting a few times with pan juices the last 4 hours. I set it on three onion slices to keep it off the pan bottom. Then for serving, you just pull off a chunk – it’s too tender to slice (think pulled pork BBQ) – dunk it in the pan juice and enjoy.

We served it with Swiss and Gruyere cheeses, baby dill pickles, mayo, a choice of mustards including a homemade one using the following recipe, and some awesome marble swirl rye bread from Webster's Deli in Knoxville.

Homemade Mustard (makes a little more than a pint.)
From bknox, BBQ Central forum

6 Tablespoons Yellow Mustard Seed (Original recipe used 3 Tbsp)
5 Tablespoons Brown Mustard Seed (Original recipe used 2 ½ Tbsp)
1/2 cup Cream Sherry (I used Harvey’s)
3/4 cup White Vinegar
1/4 cup Cider Vinegar
1 teaspoon Onion Powder
3/4 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon White Pepper
1 teaspoon Tumeric
Pinch of Allspice

Put everything in a bowl and let sit overnight or longer. Pour it into a blender and blend until mustard like (I used the immersion blender). It has a little bite to it – almost as if some horseradish were added, so it doesn't take much, but I really like it.

The long slow cook gives the ham a unique flavor – tending toward barbecued - and it got many “best I ever had” comments. It’s been a few years since I cooked one like this and I’d forgotten how good it is – one of Bev’s favorites.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by.



  1. I love this menu. I haven't cooked a "raw" ham in years. I remember the house smelling so good. What you served it with sounds perfect. Now, about this mustard. A coworker made mustard and gave it to everyone for Christmas. She won't give up the recipe and I've got to learn to make it. I know her's didn't have brown seed and it does have honey. I've asked her if it had horseradish or wasabi and she claims no. Does your version have a strong feeling of horseradish?

  2. LA - Mine has a good bite too it and tastes like horseradish was added, but it's just the mustard seeds - it's definitely a spicy mustard.

  3. I love the mustard recipe..will definitely be trying that one soon!

  4. What a great way to spend New Year's Day. The ham and the mustard both sound delicious and I'm going to give the mustard a shot. Have a great day Blessings...Mary

  5. I have that same soup mug! Your New Year's Day party is a good idea, so no one has to risk the foolish drunk drivers out there. And we are opposites - we're night owls here. I only got 3.5 hours sleep last night so I can try to get somewhere near a normal schedule again.

  6. I'm an early to bed, early to rise person too!

  7. Larry... Love your new opening photo for your site! It does make both Laurie & I hungry just to look at it. The ham was very good and I'm not particularly a ham lover. Laurie loved it too! Great mustard to boot! Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

  8. Hi Larry, WELL---we all made it through the holidays... Whew----now is the time to start a new year and do it all again!!!!!! I'm 'un-decorating' Christmas this week... Fun Fun !!!! AND--I'll do some heavy-duty cleaning too...

    Your menu for New Year's Day with friends coming and going sounded wonderful. We had Hoppin' John here --so hopefully, we'll have good luck in 2011.

    Love your header... Made my mouth water! ha

  9. That slice of prime rib in your new header is cooked to perfection. That's what I'm striving for. I was going to try cooking a PR on the weekend but plans changed so will try your method next week.

  10. So much to love here - the header of course, the way you served the ham . . . it's the way i eat it when I'm cooking it - love it! But my favorite thing here is that mustard recipe. I enjoy a spicy mustard and love making unusual things like that.

  11. Thanks for the mustard recipe. I have been wanting a good one and I like the sound of this one. The cajun one I made was AWFUL.


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