Terence Feury's Fresh Christmas Ham


20 serving(s)


1 fresh bone-in ham (from the hindquarters) about 20 pounds, "half-skinned" by butcher so about 5 inches of skin remain around the shank bone

For the cure:

1 1/4 cups kosher salt

1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed

1 teaspoon ground cloves

1 cup picked fresh thyme leaves

2 tablespoons chopped rosemary

4 tablespoons coarse ground black pepper

To roast in pan below the ham:

2 bunches organic carrots, peeled

1 pound cippolini onions, peeled (but not purchased prepeeled)

4 heads of garlic, split whole through middle

8-10 small turnips (no bigger than a lacrosse ball), well-cleaned, but unpeeled

For the pan gravy:

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic, crushed 1 shallot, minced

4 sprigs of fresh thyme 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary

2 cups chicken stock unabsorbed, can be very salty.




1. Score the skin of the ham in a crisscross pattern with a straight-edged razor blade or a very sharp knife (or let butcher do this). Mix all ingredients for the cure well and rub all over the ham. Let the ham sit uncovered in the refrigerator, preferably on a rack so air can circulate around it, for 3 days (2 days minimum).

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the carrots, onions, garlic, and turnips in the bottom of a roasting pan, with split side of garlic facing down. Brush some of the excess, undissolved cure off the ham, and place it fat-side up on a roasting rack. Cook approximately 12-15 minutes per pound. If the ham gets too brown, cover with foil (especially the end not covered with skin, which cooks faster).

3. Check internal temperature with an instant-read thermometer stuck into the thickest part of the ham, at the center joint, where the large bones meet. When temperature of 140 degrees is reached, lower temperature to lowest setting (about 175 degrees, if possible) and hold for at least an hour. When internal temperature reaches 155 degrees, remove the ham from oven and let rest, covered with foil, for at least a half hour, or until ready to serve.

4. While ham rests, make pan gravy: Remove all the vegetables from under the roasting rack and set aside. Pour off remaining juices into a fat separator, pour off fat, and set aside. Place roasting pan over medium-high flame, add olive oil, garlic, and shallots and sweat until transluscent. Add stock and herbs. Bring to a boil and reduce by half. Add reserved ham juices and simmer to blend, a couple of minutes. Gravy should be rich, but not thickened. Strain and serve.


Per serving: 580 calories, 42 grams protein, 23 grams carbohydrates, 5 grams sugar, 30 grams fat, 230 milligrams cholesterol, 626 milligrams sodium, 7 grams dietary fiber.

A note on carving: Feel free to present the entire ham to your guests, but this massive roast is best carved in sections in the kitchen and presented on a platter in slices surrounded by the pan-roasted vegetables. Typically, the top of the ham roasts faster than the bottom (and the exposed meat faster than meat covered by skin), so begin by slicing off chunks from the top, so bottom can continue cooking in oven, if necessary. Also, while crackly skin is nice to offer, beware serving too much residual cure from the crust, which,

Michael Klein