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Cook's Country Slow-Roasted Fresh Ham (Ep 1313)

Slow-Roasted Fresh Ham

Serves 12 to 14

Unlike salty, pink cured ham, fresh ham is nothing more than a bone-in, skin-on pork roast from the pig’s hind leg. We chose a shank-end ham over a sirloin-end ham since the latter is tricky to carve. Salting the roast for 12 hours is key for moist, well-seasoned meat, and cutting a pocket in the meaty end helps the rub (bolstered with brown sugar and herbs for flavor) penetrate. Removing the skin allows the fat to render, and roasting the ham in an oven bag creates a moist cooking environment for evenly cooked meat.


  • 8 - 10 pound ham shank-end, bone-in
  • ⅓ cup packed brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
  • 1 large oven bag
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper


Use a turkey-size oven bag for this recipe.

1. Place ham flat side down on cutting board. Using sharp knife, remove skin, leaving 1/2- to 1/4-inch layer of fat intact. Cut 1-inch diagonal crosshatch pattern in fat, being careful not to cut into meat. Place ham on its side. Cut one 4-inch horizontal pocket about 2 inches deep in center of flat side of ham, being careful not to poke through opposite side.

2. Combine sugar, salt, rosemary, and thyme in bowl. Rub half of sugar mixture in ham pocket. Tie 1 piece of kitchen twine tightly around base of ham. Rub exterior of ham with remaining sugar mixture. Wrap ham tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 12 hours or up to 24 hours.

3. Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Set V-rack in large roasting pan. Unwrap ham and place in oven bag flat side down. Tie top of oven bag closed with kitchen twine. Place ham, flat side down, on V-rack and cut 1/2-inch slit in top of oven bag. Roast until thermometer inserted in center of ham, close to but not touching bone, registers 160 degrees, 3 1/2 to 5 hours. Remove ham from oven and let rest in oven bag on V-rack for 1 hour. Heat oven to 450 degrees.

4. Whisk maple syrup, molasses, soy sauce, mustard, and pepper together in bowl. Cut off top of oven bag and push down with tongs, allowing accumulated juices to spill into roasting pan; discard oven bag. Leave ham sitting flat side down on V-rack.

5. Brush ham with half of glaze and roast for 10 minutes. Brush ham with remaining glaze, rotate pan, and roast until deep amber color, about 10 minutes longer. Move ham to carving board, flat side down, and let rest for 20 minutes. Pour pan juices into fat separator. Carve ham into 1/4-inch-thick slices, arrange on platter, and moisten lightly with defatted pan juices. Serve, passing remaining pan juices separately.