Monday, 31 December 2007

Baked Bone-In Ham with Maple-Mustard Glaze

I had a hankering for ham for Christmas dinner and this is the recipe I used. A good bone-in ham can be hard to find but persevere, because it is such an enormous improvement over deboned or spiral-cut hams, which are often also processed in other ways that are not conducive to good eating. In particular, ham is very prone to being soaked in brine, gelatine and preservatives to increase the weight, but which of course makes it soggy, salty, and bland with that nasty preservative aftertaste. Smoked but uncooked is what you want. Most people prefer the shank end as being easier to deal with, and it seems to be much the easiest to find as well.

In spite of the higher-quality of most bone-in hams, they are likely to be cheaper than the more processed versions, since you are basically buying a recognizable chunk of smoked pig. You will have a little more waste however; there is the bone, and also you will likely need to trim off quite a bit of fat. I would not allow less than 1 pound per person when calculating how large a ham to buy, and twice that if you want left-overs. Which you do, I would think. To some degree, the smaller the ham, the more waste there is. And then of course, you can make stock with the bone which is great in soup or risottos.

10 to 20 servings, depending on size of ham
20 minutes per pound - plus 20 minutes prep time

Baked Bone In Ham with Maple Mustard GlazeI had somewhat different results with my two hams this season, even though both were bought at the same place and made with the same recipe. Whether the difference is in the oven, or in the ham itself - the first was a shank end, and the second a butt end - I don't know. The second one was much moister, and instead of needing to add water to the pan as it roasted, I needed to remove it. However, both were perfectly done and delicious.

Baked Bone In Ham with Maple Mustard GlazeTo Start the Ham:

1 5 to 6 kilogram (10 to 13 pound) smoked but uncooked bone-in ham
2 tablespoons whole cloves

Preheat the oven to 325°. Cut the skin and most of the subcutaneous fat from the ham. Leave a thin layer of the fat on the meat, to keep it moist, but it can be quite thin or even intermittant. Stick the ham evenly all over with the cloves at a distance of 1 1/2 to 2 inches apart. A neat diamond pattern is traditional, but it hardly matters. Put the ham, cut end down, in a roasting pan, and add water to come up about 1 inch. Cover the ham loosely with heavy foil, and place it in the oven. Roast it for 20 minutes per pound, roughly. I say roughly, because if I have bought, say for example, an 11 pound roast, I will likely have removed at least a pound of fat and skin, and so I would calculate for 10 pounds, which would be 3 hours and 20 minutes.

When the ham has one hour left to bake, remove it from the oven. Discard the aluminum foil, and cover the ham as evenly as you can with the glaze. Check the water level, and add some more if needed. You do not want to bring it back to the one inch level, but the bottom of the pan needs to be covered. You don't want the water to go completely, or the glaze and fat on the bottom of the pan will scorch. On the other hand, if there is still a great deal of liquid in the pan, you may wish to remove some, to bring the liquid level down to 1/2 inch or perhaps a little less. Do so before you put on the glaze, and save the liquid - it is the start of your ham stock.

To Make the Glaze:

1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup hot mustard powder
2 tablespoons chick-pea flour
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon black peppercorns, ground
1/2 teaspoon salt

When the ham goes into the oven, mix the above ingredients and let them sit as the ham cooks. Glaze as described above, when the ham has one hour left to cook.

To Finish:

When the ham comes out of the oven, let it rest for about 10 minutes before you carve it. While it does that, scrape out all the drippings from the pan into a gravy boat, de-fatting the sauce as much as possible. It will be more intensely flavoured than gravy, and should be applied discreetly. If it is too thin, put it in a pot and boil it down a bit. If too thick, add a little water and simmer until smooth.


Peter M said...

A good food read and Ferdzy, please give us some good sources for bone-in pork.

Have a Happy and healthy New Year!

Ferdzy said...

Well, Peter, I got mine at the St. Jacobs Farmers Market. You could try the St. Laurence market in Toronto. A good German/Hungarian/Polish etc butcher might be a place to check out.

Anyone have any other ideas?

Kevin said...

The ham looks good. I made a ham for Christmas dinner. The one that I made had a bone but it was precooked. I will have to look for an uncooked one next time to compare.

Happy New Year!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

That ham looks scrumptious! Wonderful!

Happy New Year!