This recipe was developed by Marcus Jernmark, chef at Aquavit in New York City, as part of the restaurant’s traditional julbord spread for Christmas. The ham is cooks in an aromatic soup, then glazed and topped with breadcrumbs. The crucial step is letting the ham come to room temperature while keeping it in its broth: “That keeps it moist,” Jernmark explains. “When the ham cooks, it loses its ability to hold onto liquid, but as it cools, it starts to soak it up again. It’s like resting a steak after you cook it.” In Sweden, the ham traditionally would be served accompanied by dishes made from other parts of the same pig. “A traditional feature on the Christmas table, right next to the ham, is the head cheese. You cook the head from the pig until the meat starts to loosen, you pick it up and make a pate using the gelatin from the stock; once it’s set, slice it at the table and eat it with the ham.” Here, instead of head cheese, Jernmark suggests accompanying the ham with a rich, grainy mustard.
- 3 qt. water
- 2 onions, peeled and speared with cloves
- 1 large carrot, chopped
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 shot espresso
- 1⁄2 cup mustard (preferably Swedish)
- 1⁄2 cup fine breadcrumbs
- 1 salt-cured fresh ham (6-9 lbs)
- Set the oven to 200 degrees. Place ham in an oven-proof pot with the onions and carrot. Insert an oven-proof thermometer into the thickest part of the ham, and pour in the water. Bake the ham in the water until the thermometer reads 167 degrees F, about 2 hours. Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature.
- Prepare the glaze: stir together the egg yolks, honey, espresso, and mustard. Increase the oven temperature to 450. Gently lift the ham out of its water bath and place it on a roasting pan, reserving the cooking broth for _[dopp i gryta](/TK)_. Carefully remove ham rind. Brush the top of the ham with the glaze mixture, and then top with breadcrumbs. Bake the ham until glaze becomes golden brown, about 8 minutes. Serve sliced, with more mustard for dipping.