Slow Life with Real Food

Eating and living mindfully by the beach

A Great Ham

Recently we bought a pork leg roast (about 4lb.) from TLC Ranch and made a yummy ham. I thought it might be a nice recipe to share after the holidays. We brined the ham, applied a dry-rub of spices, and slow-roasted it over mesquite charcoal and hickory chips. The result? delicious!

Have fun shopping for your pork leg roast from your local farm!

Grilled Molasses and Rum-Glazed Ham
Makes about 10 servings


 For brining ham

  • 1 quart water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup table salt
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 1 whole nutmeg, cracked and ground in coffee grinder
  • one 4 or 5 lb pork leg roast
For spice rub
  •  2 Tbsp coriander
  •  1 Tbsp black peppercorns
  •  1 Tbsp cumin
  •  1 Tbsp paprika
  •  1 Tbsp salt
  •  1 tsp cloves
For glaze
  • 1/4 cup dark rum (we used Meyer's Rum)
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/2 stick butter


Brine ham:
To begin, bring all of the brine ingredients to a boil in a deep pot not much wider than the girth of the ham, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, let cool for 20 minutes, and add the ham. Cover the pot, wait another 20 minutes for further cooling and place in fridge.  Chill for a day or two, turning once or twice.

Make and apply spice rub:
Finely grind all spice-rub ingredients together in an electric coffee/spice grinder. Drain ham and pat dry with a paper towel. Rub "the rub" (ground spices) all over ham.

Cook ham:
For grilling, an 18 inch diameter Webber works great. Fill up a charcoal chimney with mesquite -or other hardwood- charcoal. Light it up. When the coals are hot, pile them on one side of grill. Put a drip pan opposite the coals and under the spot where you intend to place the ham. Fill the pan with about 1/2 inch of water.

Grilling a 4 to 5 pound ham will take about 5 hours. Longer for a larger ham. Start the grill hot, with both top and bottom vents fully open. Place ham on grill rack, fatty side up, over drip pan, and cover.  After 20 minutes bring down the heat to a minimum by closing the top vents about 3/4 of the way. Aim for reaching the lowest heat possible without extinguishing the coals. Every hour or so, open the grill, toss a handful of hickory chips on the coals, and turn ham around so that a new side faces the coals. After 3 hours, flip the ham so that the fatty side side faces down.

Continue to cook until a meat thermometer registers 145°F at the center of the ham. This will take 1 or 2 hours more.

The glaze:
While the ham grills, heat glaze ingredients over moderate heat, stirring, until butter is melted. During the last hour of grilling, brush ham with glaze several times, letting excess fall into drip pan.

Serving ham:

Transfer cooked ham to a platter and cover loosely with foil. Let ham stand 30 minutes to 1 hour before carving. Serve with pan drippings mixed with any leftover glaze.

 Thank the pig and farmer before you dig in to your feast. Yum!

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The best way to thank the pig farmer is to let him try some! This recipe sounds amazing! Can I borrow it for our customers, giving you credit of course??!!

Posted by Rebecca T. on December 19, 2008 at 09:45 AM PST #

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