On breakfast tables in some parts of the South, country ham with redeye gravy is just about as common as bacon. The origin of the name is debated, but the most common belief is that the gravy—a very thin, salty sauce—takes on a reddish tone from the browned bits scraped from the bottom of the skillet. Some Southerners make their gravy with water, others with coffee or cola. I use a mixture of cola and water to balance the salt and add sweetness and caffeine. When it comes to waking up, I usually need all the help I can get.
1 pound country ham, cut into 3- x 4-inch pieces
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups cola soft drink
How to Make It
Cook ham, in 3 batches, in a large stainless-steel skillet (do not use nonstick) over medium heat 4 to 5 minutes on each side or until browned. (The skillet will be dry.) Remove ham from skillet.
Melt butter in skillet. Stir in cola and 1⁄2 cup water, and simmer 3 minutes, stirring with a spatula to loosen particles from bottom of skillet. Serve hot gravy with ham.