April 22, 2011

Ham-No Chemicals Added

Here is the alternative for the chemical saturated ham you get in the store.  

You can go to the butcher and get a ham that is SMOKED BUT NOT BRINED. 

Or try to find an uncooked,bone-in, fresh ham.  

Bon Appetite!



  • 2 cups kosher salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup fennel seeds
  • 1/2 cup mustard seeds
  • 2 tablespoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 bunch rosemary
  • 20 garlic cloves, or garlic bulbs, cut in 1/2 equatorially
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 4 ribs celery, coarsely chopped
  • 2 gallons water
  • 1 (6 to 8-pound) bone-in fresh ham


  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • Large pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • 2 cups chicken stock


    • 1 cup finely packed brown sugar
    • 2 tablespoons flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried mustard or 1/2 teaspoon prepared mustard
    • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 3 tablespoons dry sherry (optional)
    • 3 tablespoons vinegar
    • 3 tablespoons water


  1. Combine 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, 1/2 teaspoons dry or prepared mustard, 1/8 tsp cinnamon and 3 tablespoons dry sherry (optional), 3 tablespoons vinegar and 3 tablespoons water.
  2. Mix well and spread on ham, before putting it into oven.

    To brine the pork:
    Combine all of the ingredients in a large container. Submerse the ham in the brine and let it hang out for 3 days in the refrigerator.

    To cook the pork:
    Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

    Remove the ham from the brine, pat dry and make slices in the skin to create a diagonal cross-hatch pattern.

    To make the paste:
    In a food processor, combine the  garlic, crushed red pepper, salt, to taste, and about 1/2 cup of olive oil. Massage this mixture generously all over the outside of the ham.

    Place ham in a roasting pan.  Cook at 450.
    Check the pork in about 30 minutes, the skin should be getting brown and crispy.
    At this point, remove the ham from the oven and turn over, baste with any leftover rolive oil paste.  Roast for another 30 minutes.

    Remove the ham from the oven after the first hour.
    Aadd the chicken stock to the bottom of the pan to keep things really moist and juicy.
    Reduce the heat in the oven to 350 degrees F and roast for another hour.

    To make the glaze:
    While the ham is cooking, combine glaze ingredients in a small bowl. Remove the ham from the oven and brush it, generously.
    Return the ham to the oven and roast it for about 30 minutes. Flip it over and brush again with glaze (really slather it on the pork).
    Roast until it reaches an internal temperature of 150 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer.

    Remove the ham from the oven, to a cutting board, tent it with aluminum foil and let it rest for at least 20 to 30 minutes before slicing.

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