Baked Fresh Ham: Buzhenina
Fresh ham is, for my money, the most delicious cut of pork available. Serve it for a festive occasion, with Kasha and Mushroom Casserole[, Sauerkraut Salad Provencal and Honey-Marinated Pears. If you wish to make a gravy (which the Russians don't usually do), degrease the pan juices, thicken with about 1 1/2 tablespoons of flour and add a bit of stock.]
- 1 (8 to 10-pound) bone-in shank-end fresh ham, rind removed, and trimmed of
- all but a medium-thin layer of fat, optional
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup Dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- About 2 cups light beer, or more as needed
- About 2 cups apple cider, or more as needed
- 3 cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- Honey-Marinated Pears, see recipe
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Set the ham on a rack in a roasting pan, fat-side up, add 1 cup of the beer and 1 cup of the apple cider, the cloves and the bay leaves, and roast for 20 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F. degrees and continue roasting, basting occasionally with the pan juices, until a meat thermometer inserted diagonally into the thickest part of the ham registers 155 degrees F. about 3 1/2 to 4 hours. As the ham roasts, replenish the beer and the cider in the pan. If the top of the ham brown too much, cover it loosely with foil.
Remove the ham from the oven and let stand, covered loosely with foil, for about 30 to 40 minutes, during which time the internal temperature will rise. Carve the ham into thin slices and serve with the pears.
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