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Old 11-07-2009, 05:03 PM   #1
myfrugalfunlife
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Ham ? What's the difference between butte and shank cuts, except for price?

I was going to buy some ham at Aldis the other day but am confused-they had butt or shank portions and there was quite a difference in price but they looked the same Does anyone know what the difference is? In the past I've always bought the pricier deboned kind that's like a loaf of lunch meat but the other two cuts were much cheaper (though they include a bone). I will be using them for thicker cut ham steaks.

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Old 11-07-2009, 06:57 PM   #2
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Re: Ham ? What's the difference between butte and shank cuts, except for price?

Imagine a pig. the rear end portion is called the ham (confusing I know, not all pork is ham, just rear end meat) in the ham you have the butt (or the butte, for those of us who don't eat butts, that is a funny typo ) and the shank which is more the leg part.

The butt is a good roaster, it's big, and nice the shank is what you think of when you think honey baked ham, it has the bone, the connective tissue and the fat. If you have time Alton Brown has an amazing segment with an even more amazing recipe! (ETA: I found the link, it's 20 mins long, but it's really great, I love Alton Brown! http://www.foodnetwork.com/videos/ham-i-am/43744.html you can fastforward about 13 mins in, he covers country ham first, which is kinda 'advanced')

I would go shank if you want steaks. Just my personal preference. It's cheaper and easier to cut IMO. (you have a built in handle!)

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if you want my opinion, don't get the loaf ham anymore, it's barely ham, it's processed and injected with juice. Ick.
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Last edited by Kriket; 11-07-2009 at 07:05 PM.
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Old 11-07-2009, 06:59 PM   #3
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Re: Ham ? What's the difference between butte and shank cuts, except for price?

A whole ham is a whole leg and consists of the butt and shank, then they cut it in half and the butt portion is the end that is the butt of the pork and the shank is the lower half of the leg. The shank usually has a big bone on the end.

I just bought a shank portion tonight and I had the butcher cut it into three pieces, about 3 inches of shank (the bone + some meat) for ham and bean soup (one of our favorites) and then I had them cut the other part in half, so I will probably get 3 dinners and 2 breakfasts out of it =)

Hope that helps!
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