Pork Roast – Fresh Ham

 Is there anything better than the gravy made off a pork roast?    So rich.
Last night’s dinner was a fresh ham with cracklings.    The pork was rubbed all over with a mixture of fresh sage, garlic, black pepper and salt.   Covered and slow roasted in a 325°F oven for 3 hours and then uncovered and finished off in a 375°F for about 40 minutes.   
 Served with mashed potatoes, buttered peas and
Kabocha Squash
Last night’s dinner was just winged,  but if you are looking for a recipe for roasting a fresh ham you can’t go wrong with the following.  This recipe has been a favourite for 20 years.

Pork – Fresh Ham With Cracklings And Pan Gravy

Adapted from a Gourmet Recipe (    Gourmet March 1990  Dinner Irish Style)

1  fresh ham (shank end leg of pork)
olive for rubbing the ham
1 tablespoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon crumbled dried sage
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon  dry mustard
12 ounces beer (not dark)

For the gravy
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups  chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon crumbled dried sage
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
salt and pepper to taste
With a small sharp knife prick the ham skin all over, make 4 parallel 1/2-inch-deep incisions through the skin the entire length of the ham, and rub the ham lightly with the oil. In a small bowl rub together the
coarse salt, the thyme, the sage, the pepper, and the mustard and rub the mixture over the entire surface of the ham. Put the ham on a roasting rack set in a roasting pan and put the pan in a preheated 500°F. oven. Reduce the temperature immediately to 375 °F and roast the ham for 1 hour. Pour half the beer over the ham, roast the ham for 30 minutes more, and pour the remaining beer over the ham. Roast the ham   until a meat thermometer registers 170°F.,(the amount of time will depend on the size of the roast)  and let it cool on the rack in the pan for 15 minutes. Pull off the brown crisp skin, leaving the layer of fat on the ham, with scissors cut the skin into small pieces, and arrange the cracklings in one layer in a baking pan. Sprinkle the cracklings with salt and bake them in the middle of a preheated 350°F. oven, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes, or until they are crisp and browned. Transfer the cracklings to paper towels and let them drain. Cut the remaining fat from the ham, slice the meat thinly across the grain, and arrange it on a platter. Keep the ham warm, covered.

Skim off the fat from the juices in the roasting pan, add 1 cup broth and deglaze the pan over moderate heat, scraping up the brown bits. Transfer the liquid to a saucepan. In a small bowl whisk together the flour and 1/4 cup of the broth until the flour is dissolved and whisk the mixture into the deglazing liquid with the remaining 3/4 cup broth, the mustard, the sage, the thyme, and pepper to taste, and simmer the gravy, whisking, for 5 minutes.

Garnish the ham with the cracklings and the watercress sprigs and serve it with the gravy.

12 Comments Add yours

  1. Kathleen says:

    Oh man this looks delish! I wish I had a plate right now!!!

  2. Oh, everytime I cook a fresh ham, my family dissolves in giggles remembering my mother's one and only attempt at one- she swears she cooked it for 9 days and it was still raw! LOL This looks wonderfulxoxo Pattie

  3. Janine says:

    OMG!! This looks amazing!! I just want to dive right into the plate! I am also saving my sheckels to buy one of your cutting boards. They are gorgeous!!!

  4. Pam says:

    This looks sooo delicious and inviting! Your photos amaze me, beautiful!

  5. Linda says:

    Ann…every dinner you cook looks so comforting and this one is no exception…I would love to have that in front of me right this minute!

  6. wow …it looks soooo good!Another great recipe.Thanks for sharing

  7. Anonymous says:

    I wish I could smell this right now, I bet it smelled good.

  8. Lisa in Germany says:

    That looks really good, Ann. Well, except for the peas. I feel about peas like you do about carrots. Lisa

  9. gld says:

    It looks and sounds delicious.Would you believe I have never seen a raw ham in our stores. Maybe if I went to a specialty butcher shop??But we have very few of those. I wonder if it is a regional thing.I live in southwest Missouri.

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  11. This is the kind of dinner we love. Simple, delicious. What's better? I love the veggies you have here.

  12. Katy ~ says:

    The gnawing and growling of my stomach is deafening. This looks sensational!

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