Monday, January 21, 2008

Adventures in Ham

Last night, I decided to be daring and and go to a place my epicurean experiments had never taken me - the baked ham. See, I used to love ham, but stopped eating it in my teen years after several dried-out yucky ham experiences. However, I got a craving a few days ago and decided to give it a shot. The dislike had to have something to do with the cooking methods. Sure, enough, it did. If I do say so myself, my first baked ham turned out wonderfully.

Baked Ham

1 (5 lb) bone-in picnic ham
whole cloves (probably about 25 of them)
brown sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Place ham in a roasting pan, exposed ham-side down, and press whole cloves into the top at 1 to 2 inch intervals (I had to poke little holes in the skin with a knife first). Score the fat if you want to be decorative. Pack the top with a layer of brown sugar. Pour enough water into the bottom of the roasting pan to come to a 1 inch depth. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil or a lid.

Bake for approximately 2 1/2 hours in the preheated oven (about 22 minutes per pound), or until the internal temperature of the ham has reached 160 degrees F (72 degrees C). Make sure the meat thermometer is not touching the bone. Let stand for about 15 minutes before carving.

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