One of the most distinctive of all Southern delicacies is salt-cured country ham. It originated in the days before refrigeration and is now produced from corn-fed hogs in Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky and parts of North Carolina. The most famous of all the country hams, however, is made from peanut-fed hogs in Virginia. Called Smithfield ham, after a small town of the same name, its patented production is restricted by law to city limits. The process involves salting the ham, then smoking it and finally aging.
3 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 large yellow onion, sliced crosswise into   thin rings
4 lb. green cabbage, quartered and cut into   1/4-inch-thick strips
1 cup diced country ham
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
In a large sauté pan over medium heat, melt the butter. When the butter is hot, add the onion and sauté, stirring occasionally, until tender and translucent, 10 to 12 minutes. Add the cabbage and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Add the ham and cook, stirring, 2 to 3 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper, transfer to a warmed serving bowl and serve immediately. Serves 12.