According to legend and not necessarily facts, Andrew Jackson (1767-1845), 7th President of the United States, who was an American General at the time, called his cook over to tell him what to prepare. The cook had been drinking “moonshine” corn whiskey the night before and his eyes were as red as fire. General Jackson told the cook to bring him some country ham with gravy as red as his eyes. Some men nearby heard the general and from then on, ham gravy became “Red Eye Gravy.”
Make a cut in the layer of fat around the ham about every three inches. This will help keep the ham slice from curling badly while it cooks. Some people like to remove the “rind,” or outer skin layer, from the ham prior to cooking. Your choice as this is entirely up to you.
In a large skillet or cast-iron frying pan, melt the butter. Add the ham slice and fry, turning the ham slice after about two minutes and let it cook until the fat around the edge is translucent and the ham is golden. Do not overcook the ham – it can get really tough and dry if you do. Remove the ham from the pan and set aside and keep warm in a low-temperature oven.
Deglaze the frying pan with the coffee, scraping all bits and pieces loose from the bottom of the pan. Some ham maybe too dry to have any pan juices after frying. In this case, before adding the coffee, add 1/3 cup hot water. Then add the coffee to do the deglazing. Increase heat to high and let mixture boil approximately 2 to 3 minutes or until reduced in half an thickened. Season with pepper and Worcestershire to your taste.
Pour Red Eye Gravy over cooked ham slices.
Serve with fried eggs, grits, and biscuits, if you like.
Country Ham and Red Eye Gravy Recipe: https://whatscookingamerica.net/history/countryhamhistory.htm