Recipe courtesy of Claus Christensen

Danish Ham - Viking Style

  • Level: Advanced
  • Yield: 15 to 20 servings
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Ingredients

Ham and marinade: 

1 (10 to 13-pound) ham on the bone, trotter and rind removed

2 cups honey

2 sprigs thyme, leaves picked

2 bay leaves, crumbled

1 tablespoon juniper berries, crushed

Sea salt

3 to 4 bottles dark beer

Vegetable Puree:

3 pears

3 apples

3 parsnips

3 potatoes

2 salsify roots

1 celery root

6 Jerusalem artichokes

1 stick butter, melted

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Horseradish Cream, recipe follows

Apple and Pear Compote, recipe follows

Serving suggestion: Grilled bread topped with wild mushrooms fried in butter

Horseradish Cream:

3 cups thick sour cream

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

3 tablespoons brown sugar

3 tablespoons freshly grated horseradish

Apple and Pear Compote:

5 cooking apples

5 pears

Honey

Directions

  1. To prepare the ham: Place the meat on a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, score the fat in a cross-hatch pattern, cutting all the way through to the meat. 
  2. Put the ham in a large roasting pan. Spread the honey over the ham. Combine the thyme, bay leaves, and juniper in a small bowl. Season the mixture with salt, and then rub it into the ham. Pour the beer over the ham. Cover the pan and marinate the ham in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight. 
  3. Preheat the oven to 320 degrees F. 
  4. To prepare the puree: After the ham has marinated, peel and dice all of the fruit and vegetables. Place the vegetables in the roasting pan around the ham. 
  5. To cook the ham: Roast the ham and vegetables, basting the meat frequently with the marinade and adding more beer and honey if the pan seems dry. Cook the vegetables until they are very tender, about 1 hour. Take the vegetables from the roasting pan and put them in a large saucepan. Set the vegetables aside until the ham is cooked. Return the meat to the oven and continue roasting and basting until the meat is tender, about 3 more hours. Take the ham out of the oven, cover it and set it aside to rest for 1 hour. 
  6. To finish the puree: Gently warm the vegetables over medium heat. Mash them with the butter, and then season with salt and pepper. Keep the puree warm until ready to serve. 
  7. Glaze the ham if desired (see Cook's Note below), and then slice it. Serve the ham with the puree, Horseradish Cream and Apple and Pear Compote, accompanied by grilled toast topped with mushrooms, if desired. 

Horseradish Cream:

  1. In a bowl, combine all the ingredients, adding more or less of each, to taste. Mix well and then chill in the refrigerator.

Apple and Pear Compote:

  1. Peel and core the apples and pears. Roughly chop the fruit. Place the fruit in a medium saucepan. Add about 1 inch of water. Cover the pan and simmer the fruit over low heat until tender, about 20 minutes. Add honey, to taste. Serve the compote warm or at room temperature.

Cook’s Note

If desired, the ham can be glazed with a mixture of honey and mustard just prior to slicing and serving.

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