This magnificent roast, featured in “The Wonders of Ham” (SAVEUR, December 2009), is simmered in beer before it’s baked—a practice favored by cooks in Savannah, Georgia. As with any country ham, this preparation calls for soaking the ham (in this case, in both water and brewed black tea) before cooking it, to remove excess salt.
Enlarge Image Credit: André Baranowski
1 12–15-lb. uncooked country ham,
preferably Smithfield or Edwards
20 cups brewed chilled black tea
6 12-oz. bottles of beer, preferably
lager or bock
1⁄2 cup blackstrap
1⁄2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1⁄4 cup Dijon mustard
1. Rinse ham and use a firm kitchen brush to scrub any mold off the meat's surface. Transfer ham to a 5-gallon stockpot and cover with cold water. Refrigerate ham for 24 hours, changing the water 3 times.
2. Drain ham and return to stockpot; add tea and enough water to cover. Soak for another 24 hours.
3. Drain ham; return to stockpot. Add beer and enough water to cover; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until a small knife inserted in the thickest part of the ham slides easily in and out, about 3 1⁄2 hours.
4. Heat oven to 400˚. Drain ham, reserving 1⁄4 cup cooking liquid. Trim skin and fat; transfer ham to a rack set inside a roasting pan. Whisk together reserved cooking liquid, molasses, brown sugar, and mustard to make a glaze; brush ham with some glaze. Bake ham, occasionally brushing with glaze, until glossy, 15–20 minutes. Let rest for 20 minutes before carving.
SERVES 20 – 25