One of our favorite treats is a roasted fresh ham. People are used to pink, pre-sliced, cured ham. Fresh ham, on the other hand, is pork-colored and succulent. Think ‘pork roast’.
Our favorite recipe is a variation of one that friends in New York made once upon a time, that they in turn got from a Food Network program: roasted fresh ham with cider glaze. That said, it seems pretty hard to go wrong with a fresh ham as long as you keep a few things in mind:
- If it is frozen, let it thaw completely before cooking.
- Cook on medium heat; the recipe link above starts high and drops to 325, but we have also just started at 325.
- Until you are really good at judging by feel, use a meat thermometer. Shoot for 165 Fahrenheit in the center.
- The above recipe uses a cider glaze. Cider is both sweet and slightly acidic, and those are both nice compliments to the meat and its fat content. Other examples: figs and balsamic vinegar, pears and dry wine, even your favorite cola (in theory.)
A fresh ham makes a great presentation, and is big. Make it for friends, with feel-good sides like roasted potatoes, roasted Brussels sprouts, or beet and goat cheese salad.