If you really want to impress your guests at your next holiday soiree, learn how to carve a picnic ham. Presentation is everything, and learning a proper carving technique will help you put the finishing touches on the meal you’ve worked so hard to prepare. Whether you carve your picnic ham in the kitchen or you actually do your carving table-side, your guests are sure to ooh and ahh when they see a beautiful platter of perfectly sliced ham. Just follow a few simple steps, and your guests will be as impressed by your carving skills as they are your cooking skills.
- To carve a picnic ham, you’ll need:
- A picnic ham
- A sharp carving knife
- A large fork
- A cutting board
- A serving platter
- To carve a whole, bone-in picnic ham, position the ham on a cutting surface with the leg pointing toward your right. Spear the ham with a large fork to hold it steady, and use a carving knife to slice cleanly down to the bone near the thin side of the leg. Then slice downward on the diagonal, creating a wedge. Remove the wedge and set it aside on the carving platter, then turn the ham onto the flat side you created. Hold the meat firmly with the carving fork, and use sweeping strokes to carve the picnic ham across the grain. Working from the shank end, cut diagonally downward to the bone, creating thick slices that are attached at the bottom until you reach the end of the ham. Then, separate the slices with one long cut that runs parallel to the bone. Use the carving knife and fork to arrange the slices of carved picnic ham on a serving platter. Serve hot.
- If you’ve prepared a half-portion or semi-boneless picnic ham, the boneless meat at the ends of the hand are the easiest to carve. Position the picnic ham on a cutting board with the boneless “cushion” meet facing upward. Hold the meat steady with a large fork, and carve the picnic ham by cutting along the top of the bone to remove a large piece of boneless meat. Then turn the ham, placing the pre-cut side down on the cutting board, and slice off another large boneless section. Repeat this process until all of the boneless pieces of meat have been removed, then place them carved side down on the cutting board. Continue carving the picnic ham by slicing each boneless portion perpendicularly across the grain, which will maximize the tenderness of the meat. Transfer the slices to a serving platter using the knife and fork. Serve the carved picnic ham immediately.