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). It also makes a great main dish for any holiday festivities (I’m talking Christmas dinner or Thanksgiving for those who don’t like turkey).
Serves 6-10 (depending on the size of the bone in your ham)
- 7-8 lb fresh ham (mine was a shank end)
- 4 Tbsp dried rubbed sage
- 1 head garlic, peeled
- 2 Tbsp fennel seed
- 2 Tbsp anise seed
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 Tbsp salt
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- Preheat oven to 450F.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!