How to Make a HamThere are many types of ham and many methods for how to cook ham. Some hams are already cooked and sliced into spirals so that all you have to do is heat them up. Others are canned and can be sliced and eaten after being warmed. Country hams are completely different as they have been salt-cured and need to be bathed in water to remove the curing salt.
Unless your country ham is pre-soaked, you will need to do it. It's easy enough, but you do have to remember to soak it the day before you want to eat it. Unsoaked country ham or country-style ham can be too salty to eat. Once you have soaked a country ham, you've done all the hard work because the rest is easy. Just bake it low and slow in the oven until done. Feeling festive? Cover your ham in a glaze for added sweetness and attractiveness.
-Hey everyone! I'm Judith from recipe.com and, today, I'm gonna be showing you how to make baked country ham, a really great dish for special occasion--Christmas, Easter, or perhaps for buffet. So, what you're gonna need for this is 8 cups of apple juice or apple cider. We have 1/2 cup of brown sugar, 2 teaspoons of whole cloves, 2 teaspoons of ground cloves, and enough red wine vinegar to make our glaze. And, right here, we have a 13-pound country ham. So, this ham is-- has been cooked and smoked and is all ready for us to make. So, we prepared our ham yesterday before we're doing this process. So, what we did is we put our ham in a large container full of water and we refrigerated that for 16 hours. We poured out the water and changed it once. Then, what we did is washed it under warm water, scrubbed it with a brush. We cut out the skin and trimmed the fat. So, now, it's all ready to be prepared. So, what we're gonna do is we're gonna get our whole cloves, just gonna give this a beautiful flavor, but gonna get 1 side of our ham, as you see, the trimmed side of our ham and we're just going to put our whole cloves through 1 section of our ham, so we just poked them in like so, give a little bit of space in between and we're gonna do that all the way down one side of the ham. So, we're cooking our ham without the fat on, but a lot of people like to leave the fat on when they're cooking and they just cut out a kind of diamond shape and part of the ham before they cook it. And, also, don't be intimidated by your ham. Obviously, you know, you-- some people just don't know what to do with it, but ham is really, really best to have. It's a great dish to make, really easy, in fact, and for all those who don't know what ham is, it's the cut of the pig. It's the hind leg actually. It's the thigh part at the hind leg of the pig. So, that's what is, so don't be scared. So, we've transferred our ham into a large baking dish right here and, as you can see, our beautiful cloves are inserted into our ham and we wanna bake our ham trimmed side up like so. So, before we're gonna put it in the oven, let's get our apple juice and what we're gonna do is we're just going to spoon that over and under our ham and that's just gonna be a lovely sweet juice for our ham. So, we poured our apple juice over our ham and, now, it's time to put it in the oven. So, we pre-heated our oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and we're gonna cook our ham covered. So, get some foil and we'll cover that and that is gonna go in the oven now for 4-1/2 hours. So, it's been about 4-1/2 hours. We've taken our baked country ham out of the oven and we've drained off all of the pan juices and that's looking and smelling delicious already. But, now, we're gonna make a nice glaze to go on there. So, let's take our sugar, our ground cloves from earlier. We're just gonna get enough of our red wine vinegar to make a paste. That should do it, mix it all in there. Great! And that sweet glaze is just gonna go great against the saltiness of our ham. Fantastic! So, as that's all in there, we'll get a brush and we're gonna baste the fat side of our-- of our ham like so. So, now, we're gonna put that back in the oven for another 30 minutes or until our instant-read thermometer reads about 170 degrees Fahrenheit and we're gonna put it in uncovered this time. Well, it's been another 30 minutes. We've taken our ham out of the oven now, looking gorgeous, flavorful. You can see all those herbs there, nice golden color, and that that is now ready to slice. Of course, if you don't finish it, there's plenty of things you can do with your ham--make a nice sandwich, put a bit of Dijon mustard on that, it's great, put it in your omelet, in a quiche--works with everything. So, you can refrigerate that for up to about a week and use that, so that's it. Really, really flavorful, that's how you make your country baked ham. Well, thanks for watching everyone. For more great recipes and savings, go to recipe.com.
What You'll Need
- 12- to 14-pound country ham or country-style ham
- 2 teaspoons whole cloves
- 8 cups apple cider or apple juice
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cloves
- Dry sherry or red wine vinegar
- Seckel pears (optional)
- Lemon leaves (optional)
Step By Step
Place ham in a large container; cover with cold water. Soak for 16 hours in the refrigerator; change water once. Pour off water. Scrub ham in warm water with a stiff brush; rinse well. Cut skin from ham; trim off fat. Insert cloves in ham.
Preheat oven to 325 degree F. Place ham, fat-trimmed side up, in a large roasting pan. Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest portion of the ham, making sure it doesn't touch fat or bone. Pour apple cider or apple juice over ham.
Bake ham, covered, in the preheated oven for 4 to 4-1/2 hours or until the meat thermometer registers 160 degree F. Drain off the pan juices.
For glaze, combine brown sugar and ground cloves. Add just enough sherry or wine vinegar to make a paste. Spread glaze over fat side of ham.
Bake ham, uncovered, about 30 minutes more or until the meat thermometer registers 170 degree F. Let stand for 15 to 20 minutes before slicing. Transfer to a large platter and, if desired, garnish with pears and lemon leaves. Makes 25 to 30 servings.
Versatile ham can be used in so many recipes. Fry ham slices with eggs, chop ham and mix with pickle relish and mayo for a ham spread, or use chunks in bean, lentil or potato soup. Ham and cheese croquettes or ham and potato casserole are two other ways to use up leftover ham. You can also freeze leftover ham to enjoy another day.
Knowing how to make ham is a plus because it's a food that is widely loved and budget-friendly. Be sure to save the bone as a starter for homemade pea, bean or lentil soup.