This weekend we are going to see the second installment of the Hobbit. This leaves me with a dilemma, what am I going to make if I am going to a three hour movie just before dinner? This is that sweet spot between Thanksgiving and Christmas when the left over hams are half price.
Ham is fully cooked when the meat in the center reaches 170° F. My original plan was to set the oven to 170° F. I had thought that in 5 hours this would heat the ham through. This did not work. When we got home the interior temperature had only reached 79° F. To save my dinner, I quickly cut a one inch ham steak, the end that was smeared with mustard and seasonings. Putting it under a hot broiler had it ready by the time I finished the rest of my dishes.
For my other dishes I needed things that I could prep ahead and then do a quick final cook when we got back. Mashed yams go well with ham and seemed just the thing. A quick sauté of mushrooms and leeks is something I have been craving and that I could prep ahead. Finally a mesclun salad would add fresh greens to the meal. For dessert, I had made black and white peppermint bark for Christmas give-aways, these would need to be sampled for quality control.
Karl’s Dijon Ham
1 ham shank half, about 13 pounds
1 shallot, minced
¼ cup Dijon mustard
2 Tbs. olive oil
2 Tbs. rum
1 tsp. orange zest
½ tsp. cinnamon
30-40 whole cloves
1. Lay the ham in a large Pam-ed baking tray.
2. Mix the shallot, mustard, oil, rum, zest, and cinnamon into a paste and smear it all over the ham.
3. Poke the cloves into the meat all over the ham.
Tip: You may need to poke started holes with a paring knife on the tough outer skin to be able to insert the cloves.
4. Tent the ham loosely with foil and put it in a cold oven.
5. Set the temperature as close to 250° F as you can.
Tip: I had used a temperature of 170° F and this was a fail. A temper of 250° F should bring the internal temperature to 170° F in five hours. For a quick cook use a temperature of 350° F for two hours.
6. Remove the foil for the last half hour.
7. Remove the ham from the oven and tent with foil for 20 minutes.
8. Serve the ham whole and carve at the table.