Fresh Ham with Cloves and Grilled Pineapple

Fresh Ham with Cloves and Grilled Pineapple Recipe
Jim Franco
We provide options for brining, which yields a juicy ham, as well as cooking it in an oven bag, which makes it exceptionally succulent and prevents it from drying out if you don't brine. You can score, spike, and place ham in the oven bag the day before and store it in the refrigerator in a large stock pot or container. Be careful when removing it from the oven--there will be lots of hot liquid in the bag. Allow plenty of time for a just-baked ham to rest before slicing. Brine: 24 hours (optional), Bake: 2 1/2 hours.

Yield:

Makes 10 to 12 servings

Recipe from


Ingredients

1 (7- to 8-pound) bone-in pork leg half (fresh ham)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup whole cloves
1 fresh pineapple, peeled, cored, and sliced into rings

Preparation

Oven Bag Method:

1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Slice away tough outer skin from ham. Carefully score fat in a diamond pattern: Slice through fat, being careful not to cut through meat, with a sharp knife on a diagonal going from front to back and then across from side to side.

3. Combine rosemary and next 4 ingredients in a small bowl; mix thoroughly to make a liquid paste. Rub mixture over the outside of ham, including slits and crevices; stick whole cloves in the center of the diamonds.

4. Place ham, cut side down, in oven bag in large roasting pan. Roast at 350° for 2 hours. Carefully cut bag at the top for steam to escape; roll bag down around the bottom of the ham so ham will brown. Roast 35 more minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 150° to 155°. Remove ham, and let rest, loosely tented with foil, at least 30 minutes before slicing. The ham will continue to cook another 5° to 10°.

5. Heat a grill pan over medium heat while ham rests. Cook pineapple slices, 4 to 5 at a time, for 2 minutes on each side or until grill marks appear and sugars in the pineapple caramelize. Arrange pineapple slices around platter with the ham, and serve together.

Brining Method:

1. Slice away tough outer skin from ham. Carefully score fat in a diamond pattern: Slice through fat, being careful not to cut through meat, with a sharp knife on a diagonal going from front to back and then across from side to side.

2. Place ham in brine mixture, and store, covered, in a large plastic bucket or container in refrigerator 24 hours.

3. Preheat oven to 350°.

4. Remove ham from liquid brine, rinse with cold water, and pat dry.

5. Place ham, cut side down, in a large roasting pan. Roast at 350° for 2 hours 30 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 150° to 155° and skin is golden brown and crispy, basting with pan liquids every 30 to 40 minutes. Remove ham from oven, and let rest, loosely tented with foil, at least 30 minutes before slicing. The ham will continue to cook another 5° to 10°.

6. Heat a grill pan over medium heat while ham rests. Cook pineapple slices, 4 to 5 at a time, for 2 minutes on each side or until grill marks appear and sugars in the pineapple caramelize. Arrange pineapple slices around platter with the ham, and serve together.

Note:

Sara Foster,

November 2004
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