Cattail ham Under Ashes


  • 2 to 3-pound cottage roll, cured and precooked
  • 2 pounds cattail root
  • 1 pound cattail flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1 pound soft butter
  • 1 egg yolk
  • Port wine

Place the cottage roll in water to cover and poach for 20 minutes.

While it simmers put cattail flour on a mixing board. Make a hollow in the middle of the flour and pour all the salt and water into it. Mix without kneading. When you have a paste, put it in a cold place and let sit for 10 minutes.

Spread the prepared paste on a flour-dusted board in the shape of a thin cake. Spread the soft butter over it without completely covering the paste. Draw the edges of the paste towards the center origami-style so it will cover the butter and form a square. Leave to rest for 10 minutes and then begin to work the paste, rolling it out to the length of a foot and keeping it 1 inch think.

Fold the paste in thirds and roll it down with the rolling pin. Do this 3 times. Ten minutes after the last rolling the paste is ready to be used.

Drain the poached cottage roll and remove all strings and fat. Sprinkle the ham with sugar and put under the grill for five minutes to glaze it.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll out the paste large enough to completely enclose the ham. Place it with glaze size down on the paste.

Draw the ends of the paste together and seal them with a little water. make sure the ham is completely enclosed. Place it with sealed side down in the pan and brush with egg yolk. Be sure to make a slit in the top for the steam to escape. Bake until the paste is dry and well browned.

When you take the ham out of the oven, make a hole in the pastry and pour in a glass of port. Serves six.

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