Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Marinated Swine Butt

Stan: Yeah. And you know? I think I learned something today, it doesn't matter if you're Christian or Jewish or Atheist or Hindu. Christmas still is about one very important thing.

Cartman: Yeah, ham!

Stan: No, not ham, you fat fuck!

OK, a bit early for Xmas ham recipes, perhaps, but I ran across this old favorite while going though some CD's I'd burned back in 2002. It's absolutely dee-lish, so if you're a ham-for-the-holidays person, print it out and keep it handy!

Cider-Soaked Baked Ham With Honey-Rum Glaze

Makes 8 servings, with big chunks of leftovers for sammiches.

Be sure you don't get an uncured chunk o' pig or a salt-cured country ham. You want a sugar-cured or smoked ham with the bone in -- the butt end, the shank end or the "picnic" shoulder. The last is the least expensive cut, and the fattiest, but also the tastiest!

1 (8- to 9-pound) smoked picnic shoulder ham
1 gallon apple cider
2 cups dark rum
whole cloves
1/2 cup pure honey
1/2 cup packed brown sugar

Remove the rind and all but a thin layer of fat from ham. Place the ham in large baking dish or bowl. Cover with apple cider and 1 cup rum. Put in refrigerator overnight. Try to wake up at 3 am and turn the ham if it's not completely covered by the cider.

(Chef's Note: I use a large plastic bag, placed inside a large bowl. It's easier to turn the ham, and reduces spills.)

Remove ham from cider mixture. Reserve cider mixture. Make diagonal cuts through fat on top of ham to form 1 & 1/2-inch grid. Stud 1 whole clove in middle of each diamond.

Place ham on wire rack fitted into roasting pan. Add marinade to pan until it reaches rack, but not the ham.

Bake at 300 degrees 1 1/2 hours, basting every 20 minutes. Add more cider to pan as needed.

Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees. Combine honey, brown sugar and remaining 1 cup rum in bowl. Whisk together to thoroughly combine.

Spoon all of glaze onto ham, completely covering surface and grid crevices. Bake 30 minutes longer.

Remove from oven. Let stand at least 15 minutes or up to 45 minutes before carving and serving.

This is one bodacious piece of pig, people. Every bite tastes like ham, spiced rum and apples.