Monday, May 17, 2010

The Best Ham


Here is how I cook ham. There is always the worry that it will dry out. With my method you will always be able to enjoy moist, delicious meat. I do not get the spiral sliced hams because they can be dry. It is just as easy to slice a large piece off the bone and then slice that chunk thinly for serving. Also, if you wish to use larger chunks from the leftovers you will have them as opposed to an already fully sliced ham.

1/2 a smoked ham, shank or butt half though I like the shank. (I had to get the butt half this last time because they were out of the shank).

1/3 cup mustard
1/3 cup honey

Put a rack in the bottom of a large pot with a cover. Fill with water up to the rack. Place the ham on the rack. Cover the pot and bring it to a boil on the stove top. Reduce heat to low and simmer the ham for one hour. The steam cooks the ham more quickly than it would cook in the oven but also keeps the ham very moist.


Preheat the oven to 400 F. Place them ham on a baking sheet and score the fat. Mix the honey and mustard together and brush the mixture over the ham. Place it in the oven for 20-25 minutes. It is now ready to slice and serve.

Do not throw away the steaming liquid. Plus, all that lovely fat that nobody will eat that surrounds the ham is full of smokey flavor. As you remove the fat from the meat toss it into the cooking liquid. Add water to cover and simmer for about an hour. Strain the liquid and now throw away the fat. Chill the liquid. Spoon off the solidified layer of fat and you will have a lovely, smokey broth for some soup later in the week. Save the ham bone to make another pot of soup at a later date. This ham will make so many wonderful meals!

By the way, that solid pork fat you spoon off is wonderful stuff for pan frying and sauteing.

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