“The retail flood” this year appears to be for Christmas food – As shoppers return in droves to a more ‘traditional’ approach to their Christmas fayre.
Nowhere is that more obvious than at Pattemore’s Meats at Alexandra Hills as he and his team are working harder than Santa to deliver hams across the south east.
The huge demand for the team of master butchers has been exacerbated since their November win, when they were Awarded the hugely prestigious 2018 Australian Pork Mark Ham Award. (Pattemore’s Meats, Alexandra Hills, took out Best Traditional Bone-in ham in Queensland and nationally).
Daryl Pattemore says since then, the smoker, cooker and the team have not been idle.
“All of us in the trade were expecting a big Christmas with shoppers talking about a traditional Christmas this year for months now.”
“Whether it’s been the cooking shows and renewed interest in the home chef approach, or that it’s been a year where everyone feels the need to stop and share and enjoy a dining treat, I am not sure, but the demand is on.”
“For us, having won the Award in November means we’ve seen our sales more than quadruple. We’re manning the cooker and smoker for hams around the clock, our on-line and home delivery site is being thrashed and hundreds of hams a day are walking out of the store.”
“In fact, our home delivery trucks have been that busy I think the bloke at the servo over road is about to propose to me.”
“There’s no doubt everyone is taking the traditional Christmas feast to heart this year. We’ve had people talking to us about it since July.”
This year the peak retail bodies estimate that Australians will spend just over $144 per person on food and $133 per person on alcohol for the Christmas /Festive season. Daryl says he is also fielding hundreds of questions about preparation of the traditional Christmas Fest.
“The questions are many…but mainly about the best way to prepare a ham for the table and I always say try to remember the way Grandma did it.”
“It begins with the selection of good Australian Pork, and if it’s got a bone in it, then it’s Australian pork and look for the Australian Pork Mark pink Logo on your hams.”
“Look for a natural meaty texture: avoid the wet or rubbery, look for smooth, even skin and even colouring. If the knuckle is sunken, it’s overcooked. If the rind if buckled or uneven, it’s a sign of dryness.”
“Prepare your favourite glaze recipe, Remove the rind and score ham in a diamond pattern, Place ham scored side up in a large baking pan and brush over glaze. Place it into a preheated oven or hooded BBQ at 180°C for 20 minutes per kg, basting occasionally, until ham is brown and warmed through.”
The next question Daryl says he faces all the time these days is how to carve successfully.
“It’ simple once you get the swig of it. Place the ham skin side up. Then run a small sharp knife under the rind around the bottom, opposite end to hock and each side of the ham to about halfway up. Peel the rind back. Run the tip of the knife around the bone, on the underside of the ham. Begin to slice on a slight angle down to the bone.”
“Run your knife length-ways along the bone to remove slices and continue to slice towards the hock. To keep your ham fresh, fold rind back over exposed surface, place in a Ham Bag, pillowcase or wrap in a tea towel and store in the fridge.” And that storage bag?
“Soak a Ham Bag, pillowcase or tea towel in 4 cups of water and 2 tablespoons of vinegar. Wring out excess water and place ham in the Ham Bag, pillowcase or wrap in tea towel. Store in coolest part of fridge and re-soak bag in solution every few days or when Ham Bag dries out.”
The Australian Pork Mark ham Awards recognise the country’s best hams made from 100% home-grown Aussie pork with Pattemore’s Christmas ham judged to be of the highest quality by the judges.