Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Christmas Ham

                                       Here is what she looks like so far, the first basting
mike called this week to tell me he butchered a pig and would i want a ham for my christmas dinner?
So on Friday I drove over to Windfall Farm, and even in the late hour of the day, there remained a fine frost along the banks of Shit Creek.  A gaggle of duck and geese busily feeding on small bugs and worms, the goats and sheep out at pasture and the purring fluttering sounds that wings make by the startled quail. The orchard now bare, with a few errant apples left hanging on leafless limbs, the sun dipped down behind the hills, the farm dusky and serene.
I picked up my ham from the barn and left mike an envelope with thirty bucks  inside and brought her home to brine.
i made the brine of french sea salt , dark brown sugar and thyme, and laid her to rest  in it for the 36 hours before glazing.

This morning i rose early and went out to light the brick oven, building the fire with the southern sky ablaze in crimson and the air sharp and cold. 

I made a glaze of dry mustard, dijon, balsamic vinegar and The Apple Farm's wonderful Apple Cider Syrup , shook a handful of fresh thyme and chili flake, scored the ham and brushed liberally with the glaze, then added a punctuation of whole cloves in each of the crosses of the scoring.

I put the ham in one of my La Chambre black clay pots. The Le Chambre pots are made by hand in Columbia and are burnished black , practical and handsome and i love the earthiness they impart to the meat. i covered it in parchment paper and then foil, which i'll remove later to brown.
I think the ham will take about 6 hours to cook, and we'll enjoy it with my pink pearl pomegranate apple sauce, potato latkes and green beans with crispy fried shallots and cream.
                                                                     in all her glory

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