Slow-roasted fresh ham recipe


Fresh ham is a meaty, uncured, unsmoked cut which turns tender and flavorful with slow-roasting. We wanted to figure out a foolproof way to cook the oddly shaped, thick-skinned shank-end ham. Removing the skin allowed the fat underneath to render, adding rich flavor to the meat. Rubbing the roast with a mixture of salt, brown sugar, and herbs seasoned it thoroughly and helped the meat retain moisture during cooking. To get the seasonings even deeper into the blocky ham, we cut a large pocket in the meaty end and rubbed the seasoning into it. Cooking the ham in an oven bag kept in moisture for the necessary long cooking time. A simple glaze broiled on before serving made for a flavorful, impressive finish. Use a turkeysize oven bag for this recipe.

  • Yield: 12 Servings
  • Total Time: 6 Hours 30 Minutes


  • 1 (8-to 10-pound) bone-in, shank-end fresh ham
  • ⅓ cup packed brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
  • 1 large oven bag
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
How to Make It
  1. Place ham flat side down on cutting board. Using sharp knife, remove skin, leaving ½-to ¼-inch layer of fat intact. Cut 1-inch diagonal crosshatch pattern in fat, being careful not to cut into meat. Place ham on its side. Cut one 4-inch horizontal pocket about 2 inches deep in center of flat side of ham, being careful not to poke through opposite side.
  2. Combine sugar, salt, rosemary, and thyme in bowl. Rub half of sugar mixture in ham pocket. Tie 1 piece of kitchen twine tightly around base of ham. Rub exterior of ham with remaining sugar mixture. Wrap ham tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 12 hours.
  3. Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Set V-rack in large roasting pan. Unwrap ham and place in oven bag flat side down. Tie top of oven bag closed with kitchen twine. Place ham, flat side down, on V-rack and cut ½-inch slit in top of oven bag. Roast until ham registers 160 degrees, 3½ to 5 hours. Remove ham from oven and let rest in oven bag on V-rack for 1 hour. Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees.
  4. Whisk maple syrup, molasses, soy sauce, mustard, and pepper together in bowl. Cut off top of oven bag and push down with tongs, allowing accumulated juices to spill into roasting pan; discard oven bag. Leave ham sitting flat side down on V-rack.
  5. Brush ham with half of glaze and roast for 10 minutes. Brush ham with remaining glaze, rotate pan, and roast until deep amber, about 10 minutes longer. Transfer ham to carving board, flat side down, and let rest for 20 minutes. Pour pan juices into fat separator. Carve ham into ¼-inch-thick slices, arrange on platter, and moisten lightly with defatted pan juices. Serve, passing remaining pan juices separately.

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