Herb-Roasted Fresh Ham (Butterflied and Rolled)

Fresh Thyme
An herb-stuffed roasted fresh ham makes a wonderful special occasion dinner centerpiece. By having our butchers de-bone the ham, you cut the cooking time and simplify serving. Fresh ham seems to have lost status in recent years, in the wake of so many excellent smoked hams now readily available. Smoked hams are fully cooked and need only an hour or so to warm through in the oven. Fresh hams take much longer to cook but have a lightly gamy, sweet pork flavor that gets masked when ham is smoked. The basic Mediterranean flavors of lemons, garlic and fresh herbs are all that flavor the ham while cooking. A piquant sauce made of fresh citrus, spices and honey creates a lovely finishing glaze and pan sauce to spoon over each serving.
Serves: 10-15

2 heads garlic (about 1 cup of whole cloves)
1 fresh ham (about 20 lbs.) de-boned by butcher
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 bunch each fresh rosemary and fresh thyme
salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 whole lemons, sliced thin
1 cup dry white wine
1 quart A&V fresh orange juice
1 cup fresh lemon juice (use Meyer lemon if available)
1 tbs. ground cinammon
½ tbs. ground cloves
2 tbs. brown sugar
1 cup clover honey


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Peel garlic cloves and rub them lightly with olive oil. Place in baking pan and roast in oven about 45 minutes. Set aside, leaving cloves whole.
3. Lay whole butterflied ham out on work surface. Rub lightly with olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Pull needles off rosemary and leaves off thyme branches. Sprinkle all over meat and lay reserved garlic cloves on top.
4. Pull flaps of meat towards the center to close up bundle. Use 5-6 pieces of butcher twine to tie meat together. Pull twine tightly until there are no openings. Turn bundle over and rub lightly with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. (Roasts this large do best cooked at a low temperature for a long time. There will be less shrinkage and meat doesn’t tighten up. A heavy coating of herbs on the exterior will burn when a roast is kept in the oven this long so we keep seasonings light at this point.)
5. Put ham in large roasting pan and put in oven. After about 2 ½ hrs. (halfway through the cooking time) increase heat to 350.
6. Three quarters of the way through cooking time (approx. after 3 ½ hours) lay lemon slices all over top of roast. Continue cooking another hour, or until an instant-read thermometer registers 160 degrees when inserted nto the thickest part of the ham.
7. Remove meat from roasting pan and let rest for at least 20 minutes.
8. In the meantime, strain out fat from the cooking juices and place roasting pan with cooking juices over stovetop burners at medium heat. Add white wine, raise heat and cook, stirring up browned bits, for a minute or so until alcohol evaporates. Add orange and lemon juice and cook until reduced by half. Add cinammon, ground cloves and sugar and contine to cook until reduced by half again. Finish sauce by stirring in honey.
9. Brush ham with some of the sauce, letting it form a light glaze. Spoon the rest over each serving of ham.

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