What Is A Daisy Ham? The Complete Guide To This Delicious Cut Of Pork

If you’ve ever browsed the meat section at your local grocery store or butcher shop, you may have come across an interesting cut of pork called “daisy ham”. With its floral-inspired name and vague labeling, it’s no wonder daisy ham remains a mystery to many home cooks

As someone who loves discovering new cuts of meat to experiment with in the kitchen I was intrigued when I first spotted daisy ham at my butcher. The more I researched, the more fascinated I became with this versatile and delicious cut of pork.

In this complete guide, I’ll clear up exactly what a daisy ham is, where it comes from on the pig, other common names for it, how to cook it, recipe ideas, and more. Let’s get started!

What Is A Daisy Ham?

A daisy ham is a specific boneless cut of pork that comes from the front shoulder, or Boston butt area of the pig. It’s known as a “daisy ham” because when it’s sliced, the cross-section resembles a daisy shape in the middle.

Unlike a traditional bone-in ham from the hind leg, daisy ham is not cured or smoked. It’s essentially a fresh pork roast that’s rolled and tied into a cylindrical shape before being sold.

Daisy hams are usually between 3 to 6 pounds and have a good amount of intramuscular fat, which makes them flavorful and tender when cooked low and slow The exterior fat cap can be trimmed off easily before cooking

Other Common Names For Daisy Ham

Since daisy ham goes by several different regional names, you may also see it labeled as:

  • Boston Butt
  • Pork Shoulder Roll
  • Smoked Shoulder Butt
  • Cottage Ham
  • Shoulder Butt Roast

No matter what it’s called where you live, a daisy ham is easily identifiable when you see that signature flower shape when sliced!

Where Does Daisy Ham Come From On The Pig?

To understand daisy ham, it helps to know a bit about pork primal cuts. Primal cuts are the large sections the pig is initially broken down into after slaughter.

The front shoulder, also called the Boston butt, is one of the pork primals where the daisy ham is sourced from. This area contains a large amount of connective tissue, which helps keep the meat tender and moist during cooking.

Within the Boston butt primal are two smaller subprimals – the blade bone and the picnic shoulder. Daisy hams come specifically from the picnic shoulder subprimal.

Compared to other primals like the loin or legs, the shoulder contains more fat and connective tissue. This is why it excels when cooked slowly using moist heat methods like braising, stewing, or roasting.

How To Cook A Daisy Ham

Daisy hams can be prepared using a variety of moist cooking methods to yield irresistibly tender and juicy meat. The most popular techniques are oven roasting and slow cooking in a smoker or grill.

Oven Roasted Daisy Ham

  • Preheat oven to 325°F
  • Score fat cap and rub with salt, pepper, and other seasonings
  • Place ham on a roasting pan and roast for 15-20 minutes per pound
  • Baste with glaze during last 30 minutes if desired
  • Roast until internal temp reaches 145°F
  • Let rest 10 minutes before slicing

Smoked Daisy Ham

  • Soak wood chips for 30 minutes
  • Preheat smoker to 225°F
  • Season ham all over with dry rub
  • Add soaked wood chips to smoker
  • Smoke ham for 1 hour per pound, until internal temp of 145°F
  • Let rest 10 minutes before slicing

The key is low and slow cooking – keeping the temperature around 300°F. High heat can cause the ham to dry out. Roast until the internal temperature reaches 135-145°F for optimum juicy results.

Delicious Ways To Use Daisy Ham

The flavor and versatility of daisy ham make it perfect for all sorts of recipes beyond just holiday meals. Here are some of my favorite ways to savor this tasty cut:

  • Sandwiches – Thinly sliced daisy ham is right at home on sandwiches and paninis. Try it with Swiss cheese, honey mustard and roasted veggies.

  • Breakfast – Dice and sauté daisy ham in a hash with potatoes, peppers and onions for a hearty breakfast skillet.

  • Soup – Daisy ham adds a smoky depth of flavor to bean, potato, lentil and vegetable soups when diced or shredded.

  • Pasta – Toss shredded daisy ham into mac and cheese or pasta salads for a hit of salty, smoky flavor.

  • Quesadillas – Grilled daisy ham slices, cheese and pico de gallo stuffed into a quesadilla make an easy weeknight dinner.

  • ** Pizza** – Scatter diced daisy ham over pizza with grilled pineapple and red onion for a delicious Hawaiian-style pie.

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What is another name for a daisy ham?

Easy to prepare, daisy hams are also known as smoked shoulder butts, Boston butts or cottage hams. They have a rich flavor and the fat on the ham cooks crisp in the oven.

Is a daisy ham already cooked?

Daisy hams are also called Boston Butt, and rolled pork shoulder and porkette among other things. By any name they are fully cooked, lean and very good.

What’s the difference between a picnic ham and a regular ham?

A picnic ham is not actually a ham because it is from the shoulder of the animal instead of from the hind leg. A picnic ham may be sold as a fresh pork roast or one that is cured and smoked. A picnic shoulder will usually cost less than ham and is not as popular because it has more bone and is less tender.

What is the best type of Christmas ham?

Bone-in or Boneless As long as you don’t mind carving, bone-in is the way to go. Meat from a bone-in ham is always more flavorful than boneless meat. Plus, its presentation is more stunning, and the leftover bone is perfect for flavoring soups or stews later.

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