About This Recipe
If there’s one thing that symbolizes a Christmas meal, it’s ham. It’s what turkey is to Thanksgiving. To make it even more special this coming holiday season, why not try this baked country ham recipe yourself?
A fair warning, though: This country ham recipe takes a lot of time and a fair bit of effort to prepare. But the results are well worth it! The rich porky flavor perfectly complements the sweet glaze. It’s not as salty as an uncooked ham, meaning you can eat more of it.
Pair it with a good glass of wine and some pickled relishes for a holiday winner.
Is it better to choose a ham with a trimmed hock?
Most butchers can cut off the narrow hock end of the ham for you, and it can undoubtedly help in making the ham fit in smaller pots. But if your butcher isn’t as accommodating, then it’s no problem, either!
It’s OK for a small part of the hock to jut out of the water. So long as a good 95% of the meaty part submerges in the water, you’re golden.
Why do I need to soak the ham in the water overnight?
This process is vital to remove some of the country cure off the ham. It lowers the salt level compared to an uncooked cured ham. It allows some of the other spices to shine through. Plus, you can eat more of this ham if you don’t feel like your tongue is about to fall off!
- 8 – 11 lb country ham
- 3 cups apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 tbsp mustard seed
- 10 bay leaves
- 24 whole cloves
- Clean the ham surface thoroughly under running water, scraping any impurities with a stiff brush.
- Place the ham in a large pot and fill with enough water to completely submerge the meat. Soak for 24 hours, switching out the water every 6 hours.
- Add the bay leaves, mustard seeds, and apple cider vinegar to the ham. Bring the pot to a boil, then simmer over medium heat for 2 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 375F.
- Transfer ham on a roasting pan. Score the surface with a diagonal pattern, placing a piece of clove on each diamond. Rub brown sugar all over the ham.
- Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the sugar has melted.
- Rest the ham for 15 minutes at room temperature. Slice paper-thin and serve immediately.