Long thought of as a favorite deli meat or Easter dinner delight, ham is on the rise on menus in unexpected, interesting and, of course, delicious ways. It’s already a popular protein for sandwiches throughout the day—55% of consumers say they would order ham on a breakfast sandwich, 47% say they’d order it for a lunch sandwich and 52% say they’d order it for a dinner sandwich, according to Technomic’s 2016 Sandwich Consumer Trend Report, powered by Ignite.
Chefs are now branching out and using ham in other, more premium iterations, such as on charcuterie boards, in small plates, in sandwiches with premium ingredients and in unique ham steak preparations.
Ham curing is traditionally done on the leg, but it’s increasingly applied to pork loin and shoulder, helping chefs deliver amazing flavor in new formats. Creative and original center-of-plate steaks are showing up on menus, as are unique small-plate dishes.
Check out the ways these restaurants are upgrading their ham dishes:
- Fine-dining restaurant Satis Bistro, located in Jersey City, N.J., offers a Serrano ham sandwich featuring manchego cheese and quince jam on potato-onion levain bread, delivering a salty-sweet flavor experience that’s sure to please.
- At Pasture, a Southern small-plates eatery in Richmond, Va., diners can order the crisp ham-cured pork ribs with Alabama white sauce—an interesting take on a popular pork dish.
- Another fine-dining entry, David Burke Kitchen in New York City, offers a sharable plate called Raven & Boar Ham & Cheddar, featuring ham from Raven & Boar farms, Cabot clothbound cheddar, everything wheat crisps, cornichons and mustard.
- The Publican, a pork-focused casual-dining restaurant in Chicago, rotates its menu regularly and previously featured the Ham Chop In Hay dish, which featured heritage Berkshire pork; Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, grits; persimmon; Carolina mustard; and spiced peanut. Diners can stop in to enjoy its current ham offerings, including its Taste of Three Hams sampler, which features Col. Bill Newsom’s ham from Princeton, Ky.; La Quercia Rossa ham from Norwalk, Iowa; and Fermin Serrano ham from Salamanca, Spain.
This post is sponsored by The National Pork Board