18 April 2012

Spring Ham!

Yes, yes! I know I'm a bit behind the times what with Easter gone by a couple weeks. I didn't make a ham then, as we were getting ready to leave for our trip to Toronto, the kids were all busy and not coming home for an Easter feast, and my goal was to leave an empty fridge when we set out on our road trip.






Now, though, I have plans for a sweet roasted ham with a pretty apricot glaze. I can just imagine all the little leftover tidbits being used for omelettes and gratins and soup and empanadas! Oh, a ham is such a tasty and  economical grocery buy, don't you think?

Of course, when I make a glazed ham at this time of year, the meal also includes the beginnings of Spring vegetables ... simple roasted asparagus, the first good cherry tomatoes on the vine roasted with bread crumbs and herbs, a simple potato gratin ... there are daffodils for the table and fresh light white wine or a pretty rosé for the wineglasses.




I think I need to invite some friends by for dinner and leave the windows open so we can hear the windchimes and birds that are full of Spring riot! Yup! Spring fever has hit the grey cottage on the hill ... I hope your Spring is popping out all over too!

Now, about hams. Folks have their techniques, but mine is a lazy cook's way. I buy pre-cooked hams and because they are quite salty, I wash them well and put them in a kettle of cold water. I bring them to a slow boil. When the water begins to skim up with a bit of salty foam, I dump the pot, rinse the ham and place it meat side down on a rack that sits in a foil-lined roasting pan. I make a glaze, score the outer 'hump of the ham' in cross hatches, poke whole cloves, slather a thick layer of glaze, cover it and let it absorb some of the sweetness in the crosshatches for about two hours. Then, I slow roast the ham in a 325 °F for about 15 minutes per pound. Midway through the roasting time, I add just a bit of water to the bottom of the pan to keep the glaze from burning ... then in the last 20 minutes, I slather more glaze on the ham and let the caramelizing stickiness work to make a coat of shiny sweetness all over the pork. When the roast is placed on a platter, I spoon some of the pan juices into the remaining glaze to loosen it up and serve it in a warm pitcher for drizzling over slices of warm ham. Yum!

Oh! Almost forgot the glaze! I use an adapted recipe from Darina Allen's apricot jam glaze ... so easy! One cup of apricot preserves, 1/2 cup sugar, 3 tbsp. whole grain spicy mustard, 1 tbsp. honey, zest of half an orange, juice of one orange ... mix, mix mix, slather, slather, slather!

That's it! Spring ham!

7 comments:

  1. That is one of the prettiest hams I've ever seen! Your veggies and flowers look perfect too!

    What cut do you buy? Is that a "spiral" cut? Love the idea of soaking/boiling it to release salt, I soak corned beef to get rid of excess salt!

    What time's dinner? I'll be right over! LOL!!!

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    1. That was a butt portion cut ... it has a nice little hambone in it that will be made into soup! I didn't buy a spiral cut this time, but I have in the past ... so convenient and one more way for this lazy cook to make an easy ham! Ha!

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  2. Picture Perfect! We love ham and yours sure looks good! Hope you had a nice time in Toronto.
    Rita

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  3. You know this makes me wonder why ham was not around at Easter. Well it does not have to be Easter to enjoy this tasty item. Your preparation here does look amazing and delicious. I miss having ham-it is fine time to get one and prepare it. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  4. We love ham too. Yours looks so delicious and the glaze so sticky and good. The list of leftovers sounds yummy too. Have you ever made ham croquetts?(Spelling)A girl I use to work with would bring in a large platter of them a few days after Easter and the platter would be gone in no time. They were so delicious.

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  5. The whole meal sounds spectacular but that ham is stunning!

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  6. It looks so moist and scrumptious!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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