It’s about 2 days to Valentine’s Day and while most of the world goes all heart-shaped in the iris and hormones go into overdrive at the thought of nights filled with red, lacey lingerie… I urge you to use these precious few hours in the cementing of true love… go marinate some ham!
While it may seem ludicrous to spend a day in the kitchen, marinating, smoking and roasting a leg of pork- for the true foodie, this is a gift of ultimate love. I speak from experience.
If you’re single and can’t bear the thought of romance on this mush overkill day, marinate the ham anyway- self-love is easier when you dig into melting layers of perfectly roasted fat and delicately flavoured meat!
I usually make this over the Christmas holidays and have realised that the results it gives me in the romance department over yuletide, definitely warrants its making over the day of love. It’s either the ham or the bacon wrapped prawns set on a bed of creamy, cheesy mash.
The recipe below is a cheat’s version, since it’s really too little time to the big day to do it from scratch. But the results are just as fabulous!! In my authentic recipe, I get a full leg of pork (bone and all) and salt it for a day, then when it’s cured, smoke it. Following which I apply the marinade, wait… and then slow roast it over a few hours. This whole process is a labour of love and the carving thereafter into petals that are carefully arranged to look like a flower is another time-consuming process. All worth it when you see the smiles on the faces of your foodie loves. In the cheats version, ask your butcher or meat shop to give you a ready smoked ham that is uncut. This won’t look like a leg but more like bread before it’s cut into slices. Get it home and put on this delicious whiskey, mustard and honey glaze and roast it for about an hour… Love will follow!
Whiskey, Honey and mustard glazed ham
As mentioned above, ask your butcher or meat shop for an uncut smoked pork ham. If it’s not smoked, it’s less intense in flavour but you can use it too and get great results.
1/2 kg Ham (smoked/non smoked)
For the Glaze:
2 tablespoons whiskey (Any that you like, the smokey bourbons will also work here)
1 tablespoon Honey
2 tablespoons granular Mustard
1 teaspoon pepper powder
A pinch of salt (since the ham is already salted)
1 Tablespoon Red vinegar
1/2 tablespoon garlic paste
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
Mix all of the above into a smooth paste and brush it onto the ham, ensuring that all the sides are covered.
Leave it on the ham for about half an hour. (You can do this a day or two before and keep the ham refrigerated till you need to roast it. Remove the ham about ten minutes before roasting)
Roast the ham for 1 hour, turning it over in between, so that all sides get evenly roasted.
Let is rest out of the oven, for about ten minutes. Carve into petal shapes and arrage from the center to the outside in the shape of a flower. You could also do smaller flowers instead of one big flower.
Happy Valentines!! 🙂