Maybe I'll do this for a few months and have a good time." They love his products so much, they specify on their menus that they are using Benton’s. "They say he stopped dead in his tracks, like a bird dog on point, and asked 'What is that aroma? Nowadays, chefs and food writers are making celebrities of ginmakers and cattle farmers and small-town pitmasters all over the country. 1lb of Benton's Country Ham. He's still a good friend of mine. ... Bobby swaps natural sarsaparilla for sugary cola in his holiday ham recipe. Read more here: luckypeach.com/the-history-of-bentons-country-hams "I was over at Virgil's plant one time, and it was the most modern facility in the world," says Benton. You don't need to cook country ham much." Serve with Beaten Biscuits. In my house, my wife is the expert, and she says that you need to play with the baconyou've got to be turning it and mashing itto cook it right.". "Benton's is, like, the only country ham. There are other country hams, of course, but his is the country ham. 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. All signs pointed to a high likelihood of failure. Benton's is known for its famous ham, sausage, prosciutto, and yes, perfectly-cooked bacon. Place ham glaze side up on a rack in a shallow roasting pan and bake, uncovered, 45 minutes or until glaze is nicely browned. Allan Benton, though, was the Neil Armstrong of small producers. "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. I've been doing it wrong.' Sort by. The ham is done when the flat pelvic bone can be removed easily. I can tell you, what I'm doing was not thought of as anything like a cool profession until the last few years." Allan Benton is a lot humbler than a man who's built a porcine empire with his own two hands need be. Prepare this traditional ham the night before serving. They made sausage with home-grown sage and red pepperBenton 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 inand 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. [MUSIC] I'm Morgan Murphy. Learn how to sew an easy medical face mask with fabric and cotton ribbon, amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Remove saltiness from country ham by soaking it in water for 6 to 8 hours. I unbox the ham and bacon then cook and review the ham. Around that time, he heard that local dairy farmer Albert Hicks, who'd made decent money selling country hams to tourists, had retired. Luckily I lit on the Benton’s Country Hams website, where they sell a ham with the same long aging as Edwards for less than half the price. "Everything was automated, and the only thing that human beings did was put something on a conveyor belt or take it off. Follow him on Twitter @jdportman. Allan Benton comes to work at 8:30 every morning, six days a week, and will answer the phone himself if no one else gets to it first. At 7 p.m. the night before you plan to serve the ham, preheat the oven to 500 degrees. "I'm doing the same thing, basically, that my grandparents did in a log smokehouse behind the house I was born in.". I probably can't do it for more than a year or two years. Crisp on the outside, pudding-like within, served in a light crème anglaise. Comments can take a minute to appear—please be patient! "We're so tiny," he says. And Allan Benton’s dry aged, country hams are produced right down the road, in East, Tennessee. He persevered, and today has a reputation that's the envy of his younger counterparts. I'm just going to do it for as long as it lasts and not worry about it.' Allan Benton grew up in the southwestern corner of Virginia, actually, not in Tennesseeso deep in the mountains, he says, that you had to look straight up to see daylight. Why. Log in or sign up to leave a comment log in sign up. I have travelled 10,000 miles this summer to find the very best food in the south. We reserve the right to delete off-topic or inflammatory comments. For three decades, Benton's Smoky Mountain Country Hams barely broke even. 1 55+ Easy Dinner Recipes for Busy Weeknights Everybody understands the stuggle of getting dinner on the table after a long day. 1/4 Cup diced ham, such as Benton's Country Ham; Salt and pepper, to taste; Juice of 1 lemon; 1/4 Cup chopped parsley, washed and dried; 1 bay leaf; 12 sprigs thyme, leaves pick off the stem; 4 Leeks, julienned crosswise and washed in cold water; 1 Pound butter PRODUCTS. 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, … Get inspired to make your porch your new favorite living space with these ideas designed to add a refined look to any outdoor space. He said, 'I wish I'd made it better, not more. By the early 1970s, though, Allan Benton was a high school guidance counselor working in one of the lowest-paying school districts in Tennessee, a state that was then second-to-last in the country for teacher pay. David Chang, late of Colicchio's Craft, had just launched Momofuku when he smelled Benton's bacon frying on a visit to his former workplace. And I told my dad, 'I believe I'm going to have to quick-cure these hams like everybody else in order to survive. When you need a comforting meal but don't have a lot of time, whip up one of these fast pasta recipes. ", "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. When Benton was a boy in the 1950s and '60s, no one on either side of his family owned a car, truck, or tractor. this website. Benton approached Hicks and asked to lease his old smokehouse. Do not boil hard. "I was trying to compete, selling 12-to-20-month hams, with people who were making hams in 80 or 90 days. Benton opens the doors to his smokehouse. 36 comments. All Rights Reserved. Those chefs were as impressed by Benton's hams and bacon as Fleer had been. PLEASE NOTE: Due to high holiday order volume, orders placed after December 2nd may not arrive before December 25th. Allan Benton, king. That's what they told me at Blackberry Farm, the luxury resort just up the highway from Benton's cinderblock office in Madisonville, Tennessee. Video | 06:29. Recipe | Courtesy of Chris Massie. 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. And without refrigeration, they had to process the meat quickly. Transfer Tom Colicchio was the first chef to take Benton's products back to New York. "David told me it was love at first smell. Allan Benton's products mean a lot to himas they should, considering the generations of family history and the thirty-nine years of labor invested in themand he wants you to enjoy them correctly. ", When Allan Benton says that, he means it.
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