Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Country Ham with Brown Sugar Coating

Country ham is delicious, but making it is a labor of love. It isn't hard, but it's time-consuming and multi-step. This recipe makes a delicious ham for a party or a buffet. Remember that country ham is very rich and always somewhat salty. This recipe came from Southern Living Magazine.

Start at least 2 days ahead.

30 servings

1 10-12 lb uncooked country ham
1 64 ounce bottle apple juice
2 tsps ground cloves
2/3 Cup packed brown sugar
2 1/2 tbls dry sherry, red wine, or cider vinegar

Place ham in a large container. (I like to use an ice chest)Let soak 12 hours and discard water. Return ham to container and cover with fresh water. Let soak 12 hours more. Pour off water and scrub ham with a stiff brush and rinse well.

Place ham in a large cooking container and add apple juice. Add enough hot water to cover ham. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat. Simmer 2 hours or until meat thermometer registers 142 (Make sure thermometer doesn't touch bone or fat.). Let cool in liquid for 3 hours. Remove, cover, and refrigerate at least 8 hours.

Trim skin from ham. Place ham, fat side up, on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Sprinkle fat with ground cloves. Combine brown sugar and sherry and brush over ham. Bake at 425 for 10 to 15 minutes or until coating is golden and crusty (ham will be cool). Slice thinly to serve.

To serve ham warm, bake ham as directed above to brown coating; then cover with foil, reduce heatto 350 and bake 1 hour or until thoroughly heated.

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