28 December 2011

Hammin' X-mas

Christmas has come and gone, but the ham remains...

I bought a 10 lb ham from Taylor's Market 10 days before Christmas having in mind that I would make a X-mas ham.  You don't have to, but I removed the skin of what is called a fresh ham leg; i.e., it's hasn't been adulterated with brine or anything.

You now have a big sheet of skin that you can scare the neighbor kids with when you hold it over your face.

For good measure, I injected the shank end of the leg with the brine:

4 l water
350 g kosher salt
350 g raw sugar
42 g curing salt

1/4 c molasses
1 tbs juniper berries
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cloves
1 small chunk of ginger
4 stalks of lemongrass

After 8 days immersed in the brine, rinse off the leg, and let it sit in the fridge uncovered on a rack to develop the pellicle to which the smoke can attach.  Then smoke the whole thing with alder wood on the 9th day for 2 hours.

Slow-roast the ham on the 10th day at 250°F for 3 hours or until the internal tempurature is up to 150°F.  During the last 30 minutes of roasting turn up the oven to 350°F and glaze:

1 c pineaple juice
1 orange zested and squeezed
1/4 c honey
2 tbs dijon mustard
1/2 c raw sugar
1 tsp salt/pepper

At X-mas dinner, the family is pleased with all the work they don't know you put into transforming a pork leg into a ham.