Bayonne Ham has been celebration-worthy for over 1,000 years.
The traditional Easter dinner usually goes in one of two directions: first, there’s lamb and spring vegetables, and then there’s ham and spring vegetables. We tend to prefer the latter —especially when the ham in question is Bayonne Ham (Jambon de Bayonne) from France.
A PGI-certified product, Bayonne Ham is as renowned for its thousand-year-old history as it is for its flavor—which is the perfect blend of salty, nutty and melt-in-your-mouth delicious. Bayonne Ham is the pride of its birthplace, the Adour basin in France, and the perennial star of every charcuterie board it graces.
But beyond the board, Bayonne Ham is a versatile ingredient that elevates every dish. In Montauk, renowned chef Jeremy Blutstein marries Bayonne Ham and octopus to make chorizo. Here at Edible, we’re big fans of making Bayonne Ham tarts with sweet peppers from the garden.
Ahead of Easter, here are three recipes that put Bayonne Ham to excellent use.
Octopus and Bayonne Ham Sausage
800 grams Tenderized Spanish Octopus
200 grams Bayonne Ham
7 grams pimentón de la Vera – spicy
14 grams pimentón de la Vera – sweet
2 cloves garlic
1 dash white wine (optional)
2.5 m pork casings
Put meat grinder head and blades in the freezer the night before. Cube the Bayonne Ham and put in the freezer the night before as well.
Grind the octopus, Bayonne Ham, and garlic together in unison. Season with both paprikas and white wine. No salt as the ham takes care of that for you. Paddle the mixture together to help incorporate the seasoning and to emulsify the mixture.
Stuff the casings with the mixture and hang for 24 hrs.
Set the smoker at 225 degrees Fahrenheit and hang the sausage in the middle of the smoker for 1.5-2 hours or until the internal temperature hits 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Bayonne Ham Tart with Sweet Peppers
5 slices Bayonne Ham
2 sweet peppers (red, yellow or green, as you like)
1 large onion
1 shallot (optional)
150 grams grated Gruyère cheese
1 ball mozzarella cheese
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Chop up the onion (and the shallot, if used) then brown them in a frying pan.
Cut the sweet peppers into cubes and add them to the frying pan. Leave them to cook on a moderate heat for five minutes.
Cut up the slices of Bayonne Ham and stir them into the pan, adding olive oil progressively at the same time. Leave to cook for a further 10 minutes.
Roll out the pastry and put it in the tart tin: tip in the contents of the frying pan, then sprinkle with grated Gruyère and top with slices of mozzarella. Season with freshly ground pepper.
Put in the hot oven for 15 minutes.
Lettuce with Melon, Sheep’s Milk Cheese and Bayonne Ham
1 head lettuce
200 grams sheep’s milk cheese
4 slices Bayonne Ham
4 tablespoons lemon juice
4 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon thyme
Cut the sheep’s milk cheese into cubes. Peel the melon and cut the flesh into small cubes. Cut the Bayonne Ham slices into fine pieces.
For the dressing, pour the lemon juice into a bowl, season to taste and stir well.
Add the olive oil, mix vigorously to get a good emulsion and incorporate the thyme.
Put the lettuce, melon, Bayonne Ham, cubes of sheep’s milk cheese and the vinaigrette into a salad bowl, then stir just before serving.