Posted by: A Part of the Solution | February 13, 2010

From Ham to Eternity

Dorothy Parker (and sometimes Irma Rombauer of Joy of Cooking fame) is credited with the quote, “Eternity is two people and a ham”. Either way, this wry observation hit the collective consciousness early-ish in the late, and largely unlamented, twentieth century.  I will know–after a time and a fashion–if the aphorism holds true in reality as well as in the imagination.

A few weeks ago,our farm manager came back from a trip down to the Flatlands where he handled various matters and ran several errands. Amongst these was a trip to the warehouse store where we have a membership. He bought this, that and the other there. And he bought a ham. He bought an eighteen pound ham (8.2K). So here we are: the two of us, a twenty-nine pound dog, a smallish cat and a ham of near-apocalyptic proportions.

It’s all good. Of course, I’d never cooked a ham before in my life, though I have eaten a fair amount of it. I researched in several cookbooks, on the net and even on the label of the ham in question.

Last night, I served the glazed ham with slow-cooked kale and mashed potatoes. It was tasty, if I do say so myself. We probably don’t have more than fifteen and three-quarters pounds (7.15K) of ham to go, since it is bone-in after all. Wish us luck.

Spicy Bone-in Precooked Ham for Two (and the Rest of the Winter)

1 Ham, bone-in and ‘fully cooked’

50-60 whole cloves

1 1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup Dijon mustard

2 TBSP vinegar, malt or cider

1 tsp red pepper flakes (to taste, or even optional)

Preheat the oven to 400F. Unwrap the ham and pat it dry with an old kitchen tea towel, or paper towels. Slicing about 1/4 inch deep, score 1 inch diamonds across the top surface of the ham. Push a whole clove into each of the diamonds. Pour 1/2 inch of water into the bottom of a large roasting pan. Set the ham on a rack in the pan. Put the pan in the oven and turn the heat down to 350F. Cook the ham at ten minutes per pound.

Forty minutes before the ham is done, pull it from the oven and paint it thickly across the top with a glaze made by stirring all the other ingredients together. Put it back in the oven to finish heating through. Pull it out and commence to dine at once–ham doesn’t need to rest like fresh meats do when they’ve finished roasting.

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