I hope you all had a fantastic holiday weekend! Those of you that got Easter Monday off, I hope today’s jump back into the working world wasn’t too much of a shock to your candy-coated system.
Our Easter was pretty laid back, as it always is. We don’t celebrate the actual holiday, but I’m always looking for an excuse to cook a fancier-than-normal meal and do something a little special—and Easter fits that bill for us. We started off the morning with a nice long hike with Puppyface and then I came in and headed straight to the kitchen for some pork prep!
This beautiful eight pound ham came from the pig that my family splits once a year. Babyface and I didn’t originally get a ham out of it (because really, how are two people going to get through eight pounds of pork?), but a few months ago, my Mama walked into the door of our apartment with a frozen ham in tow and said, “Here! Want a ham? It’s yours!” When you buy meat in bulk as a family—we buy both pork and beef direct from the farmer—it plays musical chairs from household to household. No one wants anything to go to waste, but we also want to make sure to get the cuts that our little family unit really likes. Pretty much every time we see anyone in our family there is some behind-the-scenes meat trading going on. So thus, this pretty cut of meat was ours.
You may be a little bit confused because I’m using the words “ham” and “pork” interchangeably. When I say “ham” you probably think of the salty, delicious, smoked, cured, spiral-sliced variety that is often served at Christmas or Easter. Most of the time, when you head to the store to buy ham, that’s what you are getting. But technically, “ham” is just the word for the cut of meat—the thigh portion of a pig. This recipe is not for the standard ham—it’s for fresh, raw ham. To avoid confusion, I called this a pork roast, because that’s exactly what it is—juicy, full of pork flavor and tender. If you like pork loin or pork chops, you’ll love roasting a fresh ham.
Where does one get a giganzo fresh ham? Well, you could do as we do and buy directly from the source. I can’t speak highly enough of buying meat in bulk from a responsible farmer with sustainable and humane farming practices. It’s cheap, available, healthy, and so much more flavorful than what you’d find in the store. If dropping a handful of Benjamins on meat isn’t your bag, some local butchers will also carry fresh hams. In a pinch, this recipe can be scaled down and used on smaller cuts of pork. Most regular grocery stores carry pork loins.
This was a perfect Easter dinner. As you can see, along side we had a nice pile of roasted Brussels. What you can’t see are the homemade pierogi courtesy of my culinary superstar husband. It was some good eatin’.
And now, we just have to figure out what to do with 7 1/2 pounds of pork roast. Sandwiches for life!
Maple-Mustard Glazed Pork Roast
Prep Time: 8 hours
Cook Time: 4 hours
Adapted from: Cooking Light
Makes: 30 servings
- 6-8 pound fresh ham
- 1/4 cup paprika
- 1/4 cup cumin
- 1/4 cup garlic powder
- 1/4 cup coriander
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/4 cup dijon mustard
- Using a sharp knife, score the outside of the ham in a diamond pattern. Place ham in a roasting pan.
- Mix all dry rub ingredients together in a small bowl. Spread dry rub over the entire surface of the ham. Cover and refrigerate for at least four hours or overnight.
- When ready to prepare ham, remove from fridge and let rest at room temperature for an hour.
- Preheat oven to 425°. When oven is hot, uncover ham and roast in oven for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 350° and continue roasting.
- After 30 minutes at 350°, combine all glaze ingredients in a medium bowl. Remove ham from oven and pour glaze over ham. Using a pastry brush, brush run off onto sides of ham. Return to oven and roast at 350° for 2-1/2-3 hours, or until a meat thermometer inserted near the bone registers 150°. Baste every 20-30 minutes while cooking.
- Remove from oven and let rest for 15-20 minutes before slicing.