Another day with my Christmas ham.  With all the trimmings from my first few slices of ham I decided to make a split pea soup, as well as render some of the fat. 
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Fat on the left, ham on the right.  The fat is going into a pot to render for another day, and the ham is destined for my soup.  Here's the recipe for a really nice cup of soup on a cold day.  If you don't have any serrano ham, any other type of ham or bacon would work just as well.  This soups takes a few shakes of vinegary hot sauce very well - this ugly sauce has become a favorite at my house.

Split Pea Soup with Serrano Ham

Serves 4 as an appetizer, 2 as a hearty main

olive oil
150 grams ham, diced in 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 rib celery, finely chopped
7 cups stock (chicken or vegetable), divided
1/2 pound (1 cup) green split peas
1 potato, diced
salt and pepper

Heat 2 quart stock pot over medium high heat.  Add a drizzle of olive oil in pan and heat until shimmering.  Add diced ham and cook until crisp and fragrant, about 4 minutes.

Remove ham and reserve for later.  Add onion, garlic, carrot and celery and cook until beginning to brown, 5-8 minutes.

Add five cups of stock to pot, reserve remaining stock.  Bring to a simmer and add split peas.  Cook for 15-20 minutes until split peas begin to soften.

Once peas begin to soften, add potato and ham to the pot and continue to simmer until peas are completely soft and potatoes are cooked.

Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve with biscuits and dark beer.
 
 
My Mum bought me a beautiful Spanish ham for Christmas.  She's a wonderful lady.  The question now is what will I do with all 14 pounds of it.
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At this moment I am very grateful for my time at the Formaggio Kitchen cheese counter.  First I had to slice off a thin slice at the thickest end of the ham, where this piggies thigh would have been.

Next, I carefully sliced off layers of fat until the fat to meat ratio is where I want it.
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Then slice.
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I'm just getting my first bites now, eating it as is.  But all the possible ways to eat this giant thing are overwhelming.  First off, what to do with all my fat trimmings?  Render them down and cook everything I eat in nutty delicious fat?  I think so.

My hands smell like nutty pork fat, I hope my husband enjoys the smell as much as I do.