Monday, February 28, 2011

Smoked Picnic Ham with Guinness

It had been some time since we'd cook a ham so I picked up a Smoked Picnic Ham the other day for under $8.00. I thought, for that price how could I go wrong. 
I didn't want to cook it an a very sweet sauce to I improvised. 
It was very good.

1 smoked picnic ham shoulder
1 large onion finely chopped
3 cloves garlic finely chopped
1 can Guinness
2 or 3 cups chicken stock
1 tsp each of Rosemary, thyme and oregano
1 good pinch black pepper
1/2 a cup maple syrup

Heat the oven to 350  F degrees
These hams are often wrapped in Cheesecloth. Don't forget to unwrap that cheesecloth and throw it away. It will make your life easier later on.
Scour the fat on top of the ham with a sharp knife.
In a large dutch oven or other large heavy saute the onion until  translucent, then add the garlic and the herbs
in another minute or so, add the ham
Pour in the Guinness and then the stock
Pour the maple syrup over the ham
Heat the stock on the stove until it almost boils
Cover the pot tightly, use tin foil if the pot's cover won't fit with the ham in there
Put it in the oven for 3 hours turning the ham twice and so the last hour the fat side is up.
After three hours take the pot out and remove the ham. It should be at least 160 F
Place it in a roasting pan, turn the heat up to 450 F and put it back into the oven uncovered.
Take a couple of cups of stock along with the onions etc, add a few more of the herbs and a Tbsp of Dijon mustard then either using a handheld blender or a stand alone blender blend the mixture until it is like a sauce or gravy. Put the sauce back into the pot. Reduce the ham gravy on the stove top and if needed at the end add a small amount of cornstarch to thicken.
If you prefer a sweeter flavour add some more maple syrup but I don't think you need it.
Serve it with potatoes and a vegetable
It is very good

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