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This recipe by Julia Child for cooking a whole ham was featured in a New York Times article by Julia Moskin, exploring the predicament of making a flavorful Easter ham. The secret is to braise the meat in wine & water to finish, before roasting in a hot oven to crisp it up. The end result is a ham perfectly glazed with mustard, brown sugar, and finally crusted with golden bread crumbs. Keep in mind, this recipe is for a cured ham, not a fresh one.
- 1 cooked, bone-in “city ham,” either a whole or half, 8-12 pounds
- 3 tablespoons butter or vegetable oil
- 1 cup carrots (sliced)
- 1 cup onions (sliced)
- Herb bundle of 12 parsley sprigs, 6 thyme sprigs, 12 peppercorns, 1 bay leaf, 3 cloves. Tie together in a cheesecloth
- 1 bottle dry white wine
- Glaze, optional
- If the ham is particularly tough skinned, cut it off to expose its fat.
- Heat the butter or oil over a medium-high heat in a large, deep pot. Add the carrots, onions, and sauté until tender & golden brown (approx. 10 minutes).
- Place the ham on top of the vegetables, with the fatty side up. After adding the herb bundle, wine, and 1 quart water, bring to a summer.
- At a bare simmer, cook for 2-3 hours, basting with a ladle every 20 minutes. After 2 hours, test the ham with a meat thermometer – ham is ready when the internal temp reaches 135. Upon reaching 235 degrees, turn off the heat.
- Heat oven to 450 degrees. Drain the ham, making sure to reserve the cooking liquid (can be used as a stock, and freezes well). Place ham on a rack on a roasting pan, fat side up. Score the fat in a diamond pattern with a sharpened knife tip. If opting to glaze, brush the glaze on now.
- Place ham in oven and roast for 15-20 minutes until lightly browned. If you opted for the glaze, brush more on after the first 10 minutes of cooking.
- Pull out of oven, tent with foil and allow to rest for 20-30 minutes prior to carving.