Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Turham - a ham stuffed into a turkey!

I've always wanted to create a new food-related portmanteau. And there are so many related to turkey. I mean, think about it - there's the Turducken, and Tofurky.

Wait, I see we've lost a few people running to Wikipedia to see what a portmanteau is. We'll give them a second to get back here before the fun starts.

For those of you who haven't fled, portmanteau translates to "suitcase" and it's two (or more) words that have been mashed together. So, a tofurkey is tofu and turkey, and a turducken is turkey, duck and chicken. And we also have this year's Thanksgivukkah and the lovely menurkey.

So, I came up with the ...

But wait. Let me tell you a story first.

When I was a kid, we always had turkey for Thanksgiving. Never failed. Always. Then, when Christmas rolled around, mom would ask if we wanted turkey again, or if we wanted something else.

Ah, the vague and nefarious "something else." Because the problem was that the list of possibilities was pretty short. Chicken was too common. Ham was a possibility, but that's what we usually had for Easter. We didn't really do fancy beef or pork roasts.

So, we were back to turkey again. Or sometimes ham.

And that got me thinking ... and thinking ... and portmanteau-ing. I mean, if you can stuff a duck inside a turkey, why not stuff a ham in there?

Yes, I'm serious. One problem with the turducken is that it has to cook for a long time for all the meats to cook. But I figured that a fully-cooked ham only had to get warm, so I could pull it out of the oven as soon as the turkey was done.

So, I bought a 10-pound turkey and a 10-pound bone-in ham. I de-boned a turkey, leaving just the leg bones (I removed the thigh bones) and all the wing bones. For easier access, I cut it at the backbone, so I could lay it flat.

Then, I took the bone-in ham and removed those bones. I also removed the tough skin and some of the excess fat. And then I put some seasoned bread crumbs inside the turkey put the ham on top of that, and then wrapped the turkey around the ham and skewered it shut.

In retrospect, I would have been better off using one of those rolled boneless hams, because getting the ham to fit neatly was a bit of a chore. I had way more ham than I needed, but the shape wasn't optimal for getting it to fit inside the bird.

But I got it done. It took about an hour for the prep, and then I popped it into the oven and roasted it just like I'd roast a turkey. It took a bit under 3 hours for the turkey to be fully cooked.

And that was that.

The neat thing about having the bones removed from the turkey was that after I removed the legs, I could slice straight through the bird and have slices of ham surrounded turkey. Like this:

Presenting the Turham!

Next time I might also use less ham and have a slightly thicker layer of stuffing instead of the thin layer of bread crumbs. but overall, I think it was a pretty successful attempt.

What do you think? Would you do it?