Baked Fresh Ham

July 27, 2013 in Categories: by

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When I bought half a pig, I ended up with two ham roasts.  I’ve never been the biggest fan of ham, so I wasn’t too thrilled about having to find a way to cook it that would appeal to me.  I knew I didn’t want to go the brown sugar or pineapple glaze route, but I also know that the salty sweet combination is pretty darned great with pork.  I ended up playing with some of my favorite seasonings and guess what?  I can no longer claim to not like ham.  This was so good, I made it exactly the same way with my second ham.

I had a little more seasoning than I needed for my 7lb ham, so you could use this recipe without scaling up for a bigger ham.  Plan on adding 15-20 minutes per pound over 8 pounds (and make sure to use a meat thermometer!).  I also didn’t bother marinating my ham in the seasoning, but I think it would be even tastier if you did (I’d wrap it up in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight).

This recipe is only AIP-friendly if you know that you can handle some seed-based spices.  If you wanted to make it strict AIP, substitute the fennel and anise with tarragon.

Serves 6-10 (depending on the size of the bone in your ham)

Baked Fresh Ham


  1. Preheat oven to 450F.
  2. Combine sage, garlic, fennel, anise, thyme, salt and maple syrup in a small blender or mini food processor (something like a Magic Bullet works well).  Blend until a thick puree forms.
  3. Place ham on a roasting pan and cover with the seasoning (it’s easiest to do this with your hands, so plan on getting goopy).  Stick your meat thermometer in the deepest part of the meat, but not against the bone.
  4. Place in the oven and set the timer for 15 minutes.  When the timer goes off, turn the oven down to 300F.  Continue cooking for about 2 more hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 160F.  Let it rest 5-10 minutes before you cut into it.  Enjoy!





I couldn’t find your email address to send this directly, as I’d prefer to, but feel free to delete this comment after reading. Recently, I started seeing a strange error in the wording of online recipes, and I’ve been mystified by its popularity as I started seeing it more and more. I find it very confusing because I can’t always tell what I’m being told to substitute for what. I just realized when I read your recipe above that it’s due to confusing the words “substitute” and “replace.” I checked my favorite reference site, and sure enough, my expert explains it exactly that way. It must be very common now, to have made it to his list of errors! Hope this helps…

And in case you found my explanation confusing, here’s how it applies to the text above. It should be either:

…substitute tarragon for the fennel and anise.
…replace the fennel and anise with tarragon.

I hope this will be received in the spirit it’s sent–with a desire to be helpful in your overall pursuit of excellence!

This was an incredible recipe – it will be difficult to venture out and try something different after this one! We just got our first half of a pig (and just switched from a vegetarian lifestyle) and this was our first roast. Thank you!

I would really like to see the main item and the side items all identified with recipes. Today’s recipe of the ham has a recipe, but the side dishes look just as tasty and maybe could have a recipe for each item. Like a menu item. Love all of you ideas and creations you daily post on Facebook. Thank you for your contributions. I’m learning to eat Paleo and have it to be very delectable. A bit hard on the grocery budget, but I’m learning to adjust to it.

I just bought a 1/2 pig. My cutting instructions said they should not smoke the hams but I got them smoked anyway. Mine were cut in half, so I have 4 3-4 lb hams. if you get the ham roasts “fresh” and not smoked, it is like any pork roast.

Made this with a ham from our 1/2 pig and it’s very good. I am always nervous to cook large amounts of meat bc I don’t want to mess it up, and this recipe worked great. I didn’t use the anise bc I don’t care for the flavor, other than that I followed the recipe. Thank you!

I believe it’s called Pork. From wiki: Ham is a processed pork foodstuff, which undergoes preservation through curing, smoking, or salting. Ham was traditionally made only from the hind leg of swine, and referred to that specific cut of pork.

I can’t imagine not totally loving fresh pork! I can still remember my grandmother’s “boiled” ham…yes, boiled…served sliced with a nice layer of fat around the edge. I would slather mine with Tobasco sauce. Even as a child, I loved hot stuff. Today, when I bake a fresh pork roast regardless of the cut, I tend to use basil, oregano, thyme and always rosemary… However, I also enjoy fennel & anise seed so maybe will try that on my next roast…

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