Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Fresh, Uncured, Ham (Porchetta) for Easter

This year, instead of making a traditional ham for Easter, I opted to make a fresh or uncured (also called green) ham which I ordered from the butcher.  I found the recipe in a folder of our past Gourmet Group menus from 1999.  I'm so happy I found it once again!

The ham is rubbed with olive oil, garlic, rosemary and fennel and allowed to marinate overnight.  Then, it is roasted for 6 hours in a low-temperature oven.  It was delicious and you will find the recipe below.

I also wanted to share the bunny napkin fold that I used for our Easter table.  Isn't it cute?  You can find the directions here.  I added the raffia tie and whiskers to make it easy to unfold and use at dinner.

Tender Roasted Fresh Ham
Recipe adapted from Food and Wine
Printable Recipe 

Serves 12

One 12-pound fresh ham roast from the leg, bone in
10 garlic cloves, halved
1 tablespoon chopped rosemary
Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
2 teaspoons olive oil
Freshly ground pepper

Fresh arugula for garnish

Using a sharp knife, make incisions about 1 inch apart at least 1/2 inch deep all over the ham.

Using a spice grinder, chop and rosemary and fennel until finely ground. Pound the garlic to a paste and add the ground rosemary and fennel seeds, 2 teaspoons of kosher salt and combine. Stir in the olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.

Push about 1/2 teaspoon of the garlic paste deep into each incision using a wooden skewer to push it deep into the incisions. Rub the remaining paste all over the ham. With the ham fat side up use a knife to score the fat 1/2 inch deep in a crosshatch pattern. Wrap the ham in plastic and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat the oven to 300°. Place the ham in a roasting pan into which it fits snugly and bring to room temperature. Rub the ham with generous amounts of kosher salt and pepper and roast in the oven for 3 hours. Remove the pan from the oven and siphon the pan juices using a bulb baster if you have one and place in a small saucepan. Return the ham to the oven and roast for 3 hours longer, or until it is deeply browned and the meat is very tender.

Siphon or spoon any remaining pan juices and fat into the small saucepan. Skim off the fat and strain. Let the roast stand for 15 minutes. Heat the juices and reduce while the ham is resting. Carve the ham, serve on a bed of fresh arugula and serve with pan juices. 


  1. Va voom... that is one gorgeous ham!! Really impressive pork... I must look into this fresh ham... my pork guy has it but I always go back to smoked. Maybe not next time... love the bunny napkin too!

    I love those old ovens. My new fancy one went on the fritz last week just in time for Easter... the 1940's Chambers I had in the country had it's pipes cleared once... and never never never misbehaved. They just made them simpler (it was the computer that went out in the new one) and better in the old days.

  2. Drum roll, please...That is an awesome ham. A fresh uncured ham-it does not get more delicious. Cheers to you.

    The bunny napkin is quite cute too.

  3. That looks wonderful! I love fresh ham, but they give my mom nightmares! She attempted one once and still swears that it wasn't cooked after 9 days! LOL Those napkins are adorable. I'll print that out for next year
    xoxo Pattie

  4. We used to have Fresh Ham every Jan 1st..tradition...I make it a few times a year and use the left over to make Pork Fried Rice.
    I know Annt calls it some other name, but here it is always available as fresh ham..
    Looks good and I love your bunny napkins!

  5. We had a ham too.. not as green as yours..I love the idea of the rosemary and fennel! It's the one time a year that I SAVOR ham..We had pea soup yesterday and today..again..the one time of year!

    The bunnies are something this nana will try..The little one to the left is gorgeously munchable.

  6. So Monday for breakfast did you have green ham and eggs?

    We used to get "green" ham when we bought half hogs. I didn't know it was called "green"!

    Love your bunny napkin!

  7. what a beautiful ham...oh my so lovely..great pics


  8. Don't think I have ever had a fresh ham..I will have to ask around. It looks delicious and BIG!!

    Love the bunny napkins - you're so creative!!

  9. Crispy skin is the best part!

    Although I can't say I've ever had it on ham because my mom never really makes her own! Yours looks delicious. Way better than anything that appeared on our table in Easters past!

  10. Looks delicious! and I thought I was doing well when I didn't purchase a "Honey Baked" and made my own glaze. Perhaps I'll try your recipe next year!

  11. wow deve essere proprio una bontà!! complimenti! ciao!

  12. I'd forgotten about fresh hams. How could I do that as they are so delicious! Your ham looks just like the ones my Aunt Ruth used to do. My sisters and I loved to pull off some of that crunchy skin--an appetizer? I'm going to bookmark your recipe and prepare one--maybe before next Easter.

    Thanks for the memories!


  13. My mother used to bake a whole uncured ham every Easter. I can remember how wonderful it smelled as it baked. Roasting with the skin keeps the ham so very moist.

    Adorable bunny napkins, Susan. I'll remember this for our next get together.

  14. The bunny napkin is so cute, I want to celebrate Easter all over again just so I can use it!

  15. Susan, I was looking forward to seeing your fresh ham... it looks GOOD and sounds yummy! The napkin is cute! And so is Mr. Mack! What a head of hair!

  16. Thank you for explaining the "green" ham. I love the way it looks- I can almost taste it . . . and it is making my mouth water. I will be getting a napkin out and trying the new fold, I love it.

  17. Frankly, I prefer the green ham, I have never been a fan of cured or smoked pork products other than bacon... The crackling is not at all eeeeeuwww!!

  18. The ham looks wonderful - the skin was my favorite part too :)

    What a fun napkin idea, you make everything so "perfect" when you have a family dinner!

  19. I bet your ham was awesome. It's been a very long time since I've had a "fresh" one. Love your little bunny fold. So cute.

    Your blog is so pretty.


  20. Thank you all, kindly ;)

    You're so right, Deana, they don't make things like they used to. My sister inherited my mom's Nesco and it still works.

    I can't wait to see all of your 'bunny' folds next year!

  21. Very special times :)

    The ham looks so good! and those bunny napkins are the cutest!

  22. Susan, I thought I already commented, but I guess not :-) Fresh ham sounds so good. I saw the bunny napkin idea before Easter but ran out of time to fold. Plus my napkins were a bit thicker than yours, so they didn't fold as nicely. Mack is getting so big!

  23. Wow, I just noticed precious little prince Mack ain't so little anymore—where has the time gone?

    Btw Susan, I love the roasted ham, but I'd kill for that bunny napkin.

    I know your Easter must've been absolutely wonderful!

  24. I just discovered your beautiful blog!! I always do a green pork or ham roast. Only time I do the cured is at Christmas time and then its a given I have to do it. My family insists on it :) That bunny napkin is just too gorgeous! Colleen xx

  25. Made this yesterday - it took much less time to cook and was definitely too salty. If you're sensitive to salt, I would suggest salting the ham immediately prior to putting it in the oven.

    Some adjustments I made included seasoning the bottom of the roasting pan, as well as putting about 3/4 tbl of butter spread out and garlic cloves to get the juices all yummy. I also basted it at 3 hours, then every hour after. It only took about 4 hours to cook and I had it on 275 degrees for the first 3 hours. Definitely have a good meat thermometer and check it often to ensure you don't overcook and dry it out.

    My guests loved it though!

    1. Thanks so much for all of your information, Kristen!


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