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Thread: How to cook a raw/fresh ham?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2004

    How to cook a raw/fresh ham?

    I have another ham question! I can get a 10 lb raw, not smoked, ham. Anyone ever cook one of these? Any recipes?

  2. #2
    Here's a recipe for fresh ham from Paula Deen.

    Have fun cooking!
    Food blog: Hot Cookin'

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Tampa, FL
    This is a recipe my husband found/requested from Esquire. I made it for Christmas this year and it was SO good - probably one of the best meals I've made. It tastes almost more like a pork roast than a traditional ham, but is really worth it. It got rave reviews all around the table. Let me know if you try/like it!

    Garlic-Rosemary Roasted Picnic Ham

    In America, it's the other white meat. In Italy, it's ballpark food. To you? It's a meal good enough to eat all week.
    By: Chef Michael White

    The first time I had fresh picnic ham, I was twenty-one, working as a chef in Imola, Italy. On a day off we went to the Formula 1 racetrack. In Italy, this type of stuff is their "ballpark food" — their version of a hot dog. They put freshly roasted whole pigs smeared with garlic and rosemary on trucks and head out to the speedways. You walk up to the truck and they hand you a slice they've just cut, topped with a piece of crackly skin. I love to make this on Sundays to eat throughout the week, but it usually doesn't last past Monday. I use the shank end of a fresh pork leg — also called a fresh ham — because the dark and white meat and the connective tissue give you a robust pork flavor. Ask your butcher to score the fat for you — it'll keep it from curling up. Or you can score it yourself by cutting a crosshatch pattern into the skin with an X-acto knife. This dish is really hard to mess up — the skin protects the meat from drying out, so you'd have to really try to overcook it.

    • 1 fresh ham,* 8 to 10 lbs
    • 1 cup olive oil
    Herbed Salt Mix:

    • 4 tbsp chopped rosemary
    • 2 tbsp chopped sage
    • 2 tbsp fennel seeds, toasted
    • 3 cloves garlic Zest of two lemons 1 cup kosher salt
    • 1 tbsp black pepper
    Combine the ingredients for the herbed salt mix in a food processor and buzz together until green.
    Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place about an inch of water in the bottom of a big roasting pan fitted with a rack. Brush ham with olive oil and season liberally with herbed salt mix. (Cover and save the extra mix in the refrigerator for up to one month.) Place ham on roasting-pan rack and put in oven. Let cook until the skin is golden and crackling and the internal temperature at the bone is 160 degrees, about 21/2 to 3 hours (based on 18 to 22 minutes per pound). Remove from oven, cover lightly with foil, and let rest at least 20 minutes. Slice and eat with a drizzle of high-quality olive oil and extra herbed salt.
    *Fresh ham, also known as fresh pork leg, is the uncured hind leg of the pig. Ask for it with the bone in and skin on.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Thanks for the recipes and even one that has had known success - even better! I will let you know how it goes.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Kenmore NY, near Buffalo
    My Mom used to mzake fresh ham sometimes-- we loved it. And today i got this recipe in my gmail box. There was a nice article with it, the link to that is at the bottom.


    •8- to 10-pound bone-in fresh ham, preferably from the shank end, any rind removed
    •1 teaspoon sugar
    •1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    •1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
    •1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
    •1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
    •1/2 teaspoon salt
    •1/2 cup maple syrup
    Put the ham in a large roasting pan, preferably one that's shiny enough to reflect lots of ambient heat and not so flimsy that it tips when you pick it up. Set the oven rack as high as it can go and still afford the ham at least 2 inches of head space. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

    Mix sugar, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, nutmeg and salt in a small bowl. Smooth the spice mixture all over the ham's external surface. Work it down into some of the crevices but be careful to avoid any deep-tissue massage. A ham is a complex structure of muscle groups -- too much massage and they can come apart like Goldie Hawn in "Death Becomes Her."

    Cover the whole kit and caboodle with aluminum foil, shove it in the oven, and leave it alone for 31/2 hours, while you go do whatever it is you do when a big, sweating hunk of meat is roasting in your oven.

    Peel off the aluminum foil. Baste the ham with about half the maple syrup, preferably using a basting brush. Take it easy so you don't knock off the spice coating. Use small strokes -- think Impressionism, not Abstract Expressionism. Or just dribble the syrup off a spoon.

    Continue roasting the ham, uncovered this time, basting every 15 minutes or so with more maple syrup as well as any pan drippings, until an instant-read meat thermometer inserted into the thickest park of the meat without touching bone registers 170 degrees, about 11/4 hours. If it starts to singe or turn too dark, tent it loosely with foil, uncovering it just at the last to get it back to crunchy crisp.

    Transfer the ham to a cutting board and let it rest at room temperature for 15 minutes before carving.

    Serves about 12 or more.

    -- "Ham: An Obsession with the Hindquarter," by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, $29.95).

    Read more:

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    There was an article in today's food section in the Washington Post-

    For Easter, start fresh

    By Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough
    Special to The Washington Post
    Wednesday, March 31, 2010; E01

    After a year spent testing recipes for our new book about the hindquarters of pigs, it took a fresh ham and a TSA security agent to deliver our most memorable moment.

    We had driven a pig to slaughter and witnessed its death. We had endured a mass of maggots in a French charcuterie and, afterward, had watched a gaggle of urban hipsters demolish the remains of a jambon persillé. We met a woman in Kentucky who makes country hams and calls herself "the Colonel." We sampled about every European ham out there -- Spanish jamon Iberico, Portuguese presunto, French jambon d'Ardennes among them.

    But the last step of our surreal, delicious journey involved bringing the fresh ham on a plane ride home for Easter. It was just the back end of our own pig, the last of the lot.

    The skin-on ham was in a plastic bag. It made it through the first conveyor belt of airport security, then became the subject of a cavity search. The agent snapped on her plastic gloves and picked it up. She looked at it for a moment and then asked, "Is this human?"

    Mind you, it wasn't at its best, frozen into a frost-rimmed hunk.

    "It's from our own pig," we answered, as if that would explain everything.

    She did not seem pleased.

    We thought she might be confused because she didn't know about fresh hams. Maybe she expected a ham to be smoked or aged in some way, if not tarted up with cherries and soda pop. Or perhaps braised into a sugary, salty behemoth that confirms the wisdom of whoever first defined eternity as two people and a ham.

    Even a farmer down the road from us wasn't sure about the nature of fresh hams, and he raises pigs. When we told him we were going to bring a ham home and cure it before roasting it, he said, "So you're going to turn it into a ham."

    Um, no. Long before it has been cured or brined or salted or smoked or even aged into prosciutto crudo, a ham is the hindquarter of the pig. Composed of four major muscles, it is the back haunch and upper back leg down to the shank of a pig, wild boar, or other porcine-ish animal.

    A whole ham can weigh up to 20 pounds, but it is usually cut into two chunks: the shank end, familiar as the tapering, iconic roast on the table, the bone angling down its length; and the butt end, a little more gnarly and lumpish, with a more complicated bone structure to boot. Either can be boned. Both are called half-hams, in butcher parlance.

    Perhaps the purest way to experience a ham's lusciousness is to take a fresh half and brine it yourself. The meat remains gloriously tender, moist and somehow bright. There's no smoke to compete with the pork's delicate flavors, which are a cross between sweet and umami, with a few bitter undertones for balance.

    One way we learned to love this meat was to cure it in red wine and spices, then roast it on a bed of orange slices: all complements to those sweet notes, those bitter undertones, with some sour flavors thrown in for more balance.

    In other words, utter bliss. And to head off any witty commentary about eternity, we also spent time crafting weekday recipes for those inevitable leftovers after the feast.

    But before we could even get to the curing part, we had to get past that TSA agent. She wanded and swabbed and prodded our ham. It must have passed muster, because she strolled back to us, palming it aloft on a bent elbow. She eyed us suspiciously, then asked, "You say it's from your own pig?"

    Would it have made a difference if it had come from the supermarket? Who knows?

    We nodded yes. She let us go. Off to curing our own fresh ham and to roasting it for dinner, which seemed like a fine way to end the adventure.


    Sangria-Cured Ham

    Fried Ham and Cheese Sandwiches With Chipotle Mayonnaise

    Spanish-Inspired Ham and Pasta Salad

    Weinstein and Scarbrough are the authors of, most recently, "Ham: An Obsession With the Hindquarter" (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2010).

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    So I made the garlic-rosemary picnic ham and it was very good. I screwed up by mixing the olive oil in with the herb salt rub, but I don't think it mattered much. I also think we cooked it a little long, our thermometer seemed stuck at 120 for awhile. No one complained about it being dry though. It tasted a lot like a pork roast - which isn't surprising given that is what it is! Thanks for the help on this one. I can imagine doing this again since it was so easy.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Tampa, FL
    Oh good, I'm so glad you enjoyed it. Yeah, I wouldn't think mixing the oil into the salt rub would make any difference.

    When I made it I made SO much salt rub and was thinking about how I would use the extra - until I dipped my pork-covered hand into the mix and ruined it for future use! So annoyed with myself.

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