Fresh Ham with Honey and Cloves

This feastworthy dish, based on a recipe in Pork & Sons by Stéphane Reynaud (Phaidon, 2007), calls for fresh ham, a succulent cut from the pig’s hind leg that yields crisp skin and juicy meat. If cooking for a larger crowd, roast a whole fresh ham instead of just the shank end, and double the ingredient quantities for the glaze.

Fresh Ham with Honey and Cloves Fresh Ham with Honey and Cloves
This feast-worthy dish calls for fresh ham—a succulent cut from the pig's hind leg that yields crisp skin and juicy meat—glossed with a honey–port wine glaze.
Yield: serves 8-10

Ingredients

  • 1 (12-lb.) fresh ham, cut from the shank end
  • 4 cups kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 4 cups brown sugar
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 12 cup black peppercorns, crushed
  • 12 tsp. ground white peppercorns
  • Cloves, for studding ham
  • 18 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 18 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 18 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp. curry powder
  • 12 cup honey
  • 14 cup red wine
  • 14 cup port
  • 3 tbsp. brandy

Instructions

  1. Using a serrated knife, score the ham by making 14“-deep, parallel slices about 1” apart all over the meat’s surface; turn ham 90° and make perpendicular slices to create a crisscross pattern. Bring salt, sugar, bay leaves, black peppercorns, and 8 cups water to a boil in a 4-qt. saucepan. Transfer brine to a 5-gallon stockpot, add 1 12 gallons cold water, and submerge ham in brine. Refrigerate ham for 12 hours.
  2. Heat oven to 350° and set an oven rack in the bottom third of oven. Drain ham, discarding brine, and pat dry with paper towels. Using a paring knife, make 14“-deep incisions all over surface of ham and stuff a clove into each incision. Season ham lightly with salt, transfer to a rack set inside a large roasting pan, and let ham come to room temperature, about 1 hour.
  3. Meanwhile, in a 2-qt. saucepan, combine remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, and cook until syrupy, about 5 minutes; set glaze aside. Pour 2 cups water into the roasting pan and roast ham for 1 hour. Remove ham from oven and brush with the glaze. Continue to cook, brushing with the glaze every 30 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the deepest part of the ham without touching the bone reads 150°, about 3 hours total. Let ham rest for at least 20 minutes before carving.