Roasted Fresh Ham with Maple-Spice Glaze
8- to 10-pound bone-in fresh ham
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup real maple syrup
We would add a little mustard here, but that’s just us.
First, this is a skin on (rind on) uncured, unsmoked, uncooked cut of pork.
So how to deal with the rind? Carefully cut it off the leg, leaving a nice layer of fat on the leg. Place it rind side down on a cutting board, and slice it into small cubes. Put in a baking dish with fairly high sides, and put this dish in the oven with the ham when you cook it. These turn into crispy pork cracklings. Drain the fat, salt them, and enjoy!
Put the ham in a large roasting pan, preferably one that’s shiny enough to reflect lots of ambient heat and not so flimsy that it tips when you pick it up. Set the oven rack as high as it can go and still afford the ham at least 2 inches of head space. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Mix sugar, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, nutmeg and salt in a small bowl. Smooth the spice mixture all over the ham’s external surface. Work it down into some of the crevices, but be careful to avoid any deep-tissue massage.
Cover with aluminum foil, shove it in the oven and leave it alone for 3 1/2 hours.
Peel off the aluminum foil. Baste the ham with about half the maple syrup, preferably using a basting brush. Take it easy so you don’t knock off the spice coating. Use small strokes. Or just dribble the syrup off a spoon.
Continue roasting the ham, uncovered this time, basting every 15 minutes or so with more maple syrup as well as any pan drippings, until an instant-read meat thermometer inserted into the thickest park of the meat without touching bone registers 170 degrees, about 1 1/4 hours. If it starts to singe or turn too dark, tent it loosely with foil, uncovering it just at the last to get it back to crunchy crisp.
Transfer the ham to a cutting board and let it rest at room temperature for 20 minutes before carving.
Serves about 12 or more. Recipes from “Ham: An Obsession With The Hind Quarter,” by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough, from the Detroit News.