OK, this is one of my absolute favorite recipes. I encountered it at an all day SCA cooking event in Georgia. I’ve only made it myself about three times, when I had a job that I got a ham as a Christmas bonus. It is somewhat labor-intensive, but not terribly so, and it fills your house with the most wonderful aromas for hours. If made properly, the meat practically sublimes.
I’m omitting the vinegar cream sauce that supposedly goes with it because (a) frankly, it doesn’t taste that good and detracts from the flavor of the meat and (b) it requires 6 juniper berries, and unless you have a whole foods/health foods store handy, you have to buy a jar, and you’ll be stuck with it forever.
- One 7-pound uncooked ham
- Coarse salt
- Fresh ground black pepper
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and slivered
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 tbsp thyme
- 1 tsp sage
- 1 tsp savory (a/k/a summer savory)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Remove skin and fat from ham.
- Rub ham with coarse salt and let it sit for two hours.
- Dry the meat with a clean cloth, then rub with the pepper.
- Insert slivered garlic all over with a knife.
- Crush the bay, thyme, sage and savory together, press into the ham.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Put in deep dish and bake, uncovered, for three hours.
- Cover, then cook for another hour and a half.
- Remove from oven and let meat rest for 10 to 20 minutes.
- Slice and serve.