I’ll share with you a delicious recipe for a easy to make appetizer that I have named “Smoky Mountain Sushi” - It is not made with seafood, but rather country, ham, … Allan Benton's products mean a lot to him—as they should, considering the generations of family history and the thirty-nine years of labor invested in them—and he wants you to enjoy them correctly. Find more diners and dives from Off the Eaten Path. Allan Benton's Tennessee Country Ham American cured ham. No. These are the crispiest, most flavorful roast potatoes you'll ever make. Allan Benton’s slow cured and smoky hams have achieved celebrity status with many of the top chefs in the country. I was sent a Benton’s Country style ham and bacon. Martha Stewart may receive compensation when you click through and purchase from links contained on The ham is done when the flat pelvic bone can be removed easily. "I thought, 'You know, I've got to do something for the next year, til I get accepted. Bake the ham for 15 minutes more. WOW! Those chefs were as impressed by Benton's hams and bacon as Fleer had been. ... Bobby swaps natural sarsaparilla for sugary cola in his holiday ham recipe. Why. Benton's has honed the dry-curing of hams and bacon into a culinary art and have catapulted the products from a simple breakfast mainstay into the world of gourmet cooking. 'Tis the season to enjoy (and gift!) Leave the fat behind; you will use this to help you cook the ham. A few months later, Benton was having too good a time to quit. Comments can take a minute to appear—please be patient! If you've ever let a paper-thin slice of 24-month aged Benton's ham dissolve on your tongue, you've been taught a valuable lesson in patience. Recipe | Courtesy of Chris Massie. PRODUCTS. Keep everything from your countertops to your dining room chairs germ-free. ", "Well, I can tell you how it happened. Chang has been nearly as instrumental in spreading the gospel of Allan Benton as Fleer was. Transfer There are other country hams, of course, but his is the country ham. '", "And I thought he was just trying to make me feel better, Jed, but he called me about six months later to tell me that he had sold his plant and he was retiring. If you see something not so nice, please, report an inappropriate comment. "I was trying to compete, selling 12-to-20-month hams, with people who were making hams in 80 or 90 days. It took a while for his prophecy to be fulfilled, but quality is what's kept us going. Be advised, though, that high demand and low production volume can add up to a long wait. Around that time, he heard that local dairy farmer Albert Hicks, who'd made decent money selling country hams to tourists, had retired. About Benton's Country ham. 411 North * Madisonville, Tennessee 37354-6356 * … Allan Benton grew up in the southwestern corner of Virginia, actually, not in Tennessee—so deep in the mountains, he says, that you had to look straight up to see daylight. And he looked at me, and said, 'Allan,' he said, 'you've been doing it right all along. by RL Reeves Jr. Put into large cooking pot with skin side up. Here, get our best grilling recipes for everything from fish and meat to pizza and oysters. I talk a lot, so this video is long. Unlike Smithfield's ham, Benton's one can be eaten raw, unsoaked, just like prosciutto. ", "We've never made it a goal to sell a lot of dry-cured ham or a lot of smoked bacon, but we've always made it a goal to sell exceptional-quality ham and bacon. Here are five lessons that I learned from my conversation with the man whom Saveur magazine called "one of the most respected producers in the United States.". Remove saltiness from country ham by soaking it in water for 6 to 8 hours. They traveled on horseback and grew or raised what they ate. Again he said, 'Don't you ever change what you're doing.' Country Hams, Benton's Country hams, townsend, tn,hams, Country bacon, Bacon, smoky mountains, smoky Larger producers like Benton's old friend Virgil Stadler, who was the largest producer of country hams in the world before he sold out to Smithfield, might cure twice as many hams in a week. Hog + Salt + Smoke sounds so simple, but to achieve the divine complexity of this ham takes the dedication, skill, patience, and GENIUS of Allan Benton! And Allan Benton’s dry aged, country hams are produced right down the road, in East, Tennessee. We've tackled the methods behind breathing life into a cured country ham here before but for our latest adventure we wanted to see if a different technique could be employed. "David told me it was love at first smell. Start low and slow in the oven and finish at 500°F for the juiciest, most flavorful, evenly cooked prime rib roast. He's brilliant—one of the smartest men I've ever known—and he's been to visit me several times, and how proud I am to have a friend like that.". "Jed, it's amazing to me that anybody in New York knows about our products," he said, as I sat down to talk with him earlier this fall. Serve the ham warm or at room temperature; cut with a ham-slicing knife into very thin slivers. Thanks to Benton, the area has become the Southern equivalent to Parma, Italy, but rather than prosciutto, it's legs of country ham and celebrated bacon that have people hooked. He came across Allan Benton while looking for high-quality local products to use in Blackberry Farm's kitchen, where Fleer helped to develop the upscale, Appalachian-inspired "foothills cuisine" for which the resort is known. As I walked toward the door, Benton called something after me. CONTACT < > 2603 Hwy. With no advertising budget—and no knack for advertising either, says Benton, who claims that any positive attention to his business "basically happened in spite of me, not because of me"—his clientele was mostly made up of tourists. Benton’s country ham. "I've been doing this for 39 years, and let me tell you, 39 years ago no one was coming by to see me.". Benton's Smoky Mountain Country Hams are all aged at least one year, and his bacon is cured with a mixture of salt and brown sugar, aged at least 10 days, and smoked with intense, almost-burnt hickory from small wood-burning stoves. And I told my dad, 'I believe I'm going to have to quick-cure these hams like everybody else in order to survive. What am I smelling?'" Turn off the oven, but do not open the door. Torrijas Caramelizadas (Spanish-Style Caramelized French Toast), Real-Deal Pulled Pork: Easy Enough for Novices, Big Enough for a Crowd, Breaking Down Pork Shoulder: Boston Butt Versus Picnic Shoulder, Feed a Crowd With This Thai-Inspired Roast Pork Shoulder Feast. I wish he had lived to see what we've done. Benton's has honed the dry-curing of hams and bacon into a culinary art and have catapulted the products from a simple breakfast mainstay into the world of gourmet cooking. Be sure to download our complete guide here! Wrap ham well in aluminum foil. Cooked Country … Our Benton's ham weighed in at just shy of 18lbs. "This ought to get him through the week," he said to a woman in line behind me, smiling. From which platforms to use and the best books to read, bibliophiles share their advice. We may earn a commission on purchases, as described in our affiliate policy. "They would go back to wherever they came from," Benton says, "and my phone would be ringing. They love his products so much, they specify on their menus that they are using Benton’s. When you need a comforting meal but don't have a lot of time, whip up one of these fast pasta recipes. Quality sells itself, even if it takes a while. "If you cook it until it's hard, you're not going to enjoy it as much. 36 comments. Place on a baking sheet. His whole operation—smokehouse, coolers, aging rooms, and all—is in a building only a little bit larger than your typical ranch house, tucked discreetly on the side of the highway with Benton's famous slogan, "We Cure 'Em," emblazoned on its side. ", "And I walked up there to the office, and I sat down, and I said, 'I don't know how in the world, Virgil, I can drive back across that mountain and ever think that I can make a living doing what I'm doing.' Maybe I'll do this for a few months and have a good time." Benton's Country ham is slowly cured with salt, brown sugar, pickled salt and pepper. Some comments may be held for manual review. Read more here: luckypeach.com/the-history-of-bentons-country-hams Close. When making redeye gravy, trim the fat away from the ham and render it separately, so as not to overcook the meat. Cover with fresh water. Ham Glaze. Benton decided to apply to law school, but had to wait a year. The ham may also be wrapped and frozen -- slices can be removed from the frozen ham as you need them. All Rights Reserved. Nowadays, chefs and food writers are making celebrities of ginmakers and cattle farmers and small-town pitmasters all over the country. Help them thrive even when the temperature drops. They made sausage with home-grown sage and red pepper—Benton still sells from-scratch sausage at his store in Madisonville, but can't ship it because he does not have refrigerated cartons to ship it in—and canned pork loin and ribs in fruit jars, and cured hams, shoulders, jowls, and bacon with the same dry rub of salt, brown sugar, and red and black pepper that Benton uses on his hams and bacon today. "I'm doing the same thing, basically, that my grandparents did in a log smokehouse behind the house I was born in.". Want more tasty and festive holiday cookie recipes and tips? "People either love it or hate it," he says about his ham. ", When Allan Benton says that, he means it. Post whatever you want, just keep it seriously about eats, seriously. Follow him on Twitter @jdportman. All products linked here have been independently selected by our editors. Martha Stewart is part of the Meredith Home Group. John Fleer also introduced Allan Benton to John T. Edge, director of the Oxford, Mississippi-based Southern Foodways Alliance and Pied Piper of the southern heritage-food movement, whose enthusiastic testimonies have helped as much as anything to canonize Benton as the patron saint of cured pork. We want to keep doing what we've done, do it really well, and hope to be able to continue to do business with these great restaurants across the country. "We want people to be able to bend it without breaking it," he says. 207. We reserve the right to delete off-topic or inflammatory comments. At 10 P.M., turn the oven back on to 500 degrees. Learn how to minimize the spread of germs with an extra few seconds of scrubbing. Place the wrapped ham in a large roasting pan filled with 1 inch of water, and bake for 30 minutes. "Benton's is, like, the only country ham. HOME. Some HTML is OK: link, strong, em. level 1. You'll walk out ham in hand—as a man in a nearby gas station told me, "Allan makes sure that we local people can always get his stuff when we want it"—and you're more than likely to meet the man in charge, who might take the time to show you around if you're interested. "We lived like people lived a hundred years ago," he told me. They were right; he might be. This long-established practice can be traced back to the time of their ancestors, when preparing and preserving meat was a way of life and livelihood. They'd be saying, 'Can you sell me this product?'". For three decades, Benton's Smoky Mountain Country Hams barely broke even. Soak it overnight and scrub. Broadbent's The ideal biscuit ham--not too dry, not too moist--ready for serving. All signs pointed to a high likelihood of failure. Right now, he has 11 employees. Chef John Fleer, then of Blackberry Farm, was the first big name to catch on to Benton's hams and bacon. I can tell you, what I'm doing was not thought of as anything like a cool profession until the last few years." Simmer for 20-25 minutes per pound. He's still a good friend of mine. I unbox the ham and bacon then cook and review the ham. He said he literally went to the phone in the basement there and called me to ask me if he could purchase my bacon for his new restaurant.". 1 55+ Easy Dinner Recipes for Busy Weeknights Everybody understands the stuggle of getting dinner on the table after a long day. Benton's is known for its famous ham, sausage, prosciutto, and yes, perfectly-cooked bacon. Gabriele gets a close-up look at how Benton's Bacon cures country ham. "They say he stopped dead in his tracks, like a bird dog on point, and asked 'What is that aroma? The beautiful video below, "Benton Family Cure" by Jennifer Davick, captures exactly what it feels like inside Benton's Country Hams. Use a sharp knife and small cuts to trim the skin away from the edges of the ham. "I'll know I've made it when people talk about my tonic the way they talk about his ham," said Brooks Reitz, GM at Charleston's FIG restaurant and creator of Jack Rudy tonic, during an interview last week. Jed Portman is blogging his way to that cabin in East Tennessee, one six-pack of soda and barbecue platter at a time. [Photographs: Jed Portman]. 1lb of Benton's Country Ham. Hickory-smoked bacon is another tasty offering. A full-fledged pork-curing facility, Benton’s has a storefront where customers can walk in and pick up a whole ham or a pound of bacon fresh from the smokehouse. "We're so tiny," he says. Just don't call him Mr. Benton. I've been doing it wrong.' Asked 'What is that aroma pasta recipes, with people who were hams! His younger counterparts, PLEASE, report an inappropriate comment ribbon, the... Benton goes through 13,000 or 14,000 hams each year for three decades, Benton goes 13,000! 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