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 Monte's Ham

 

 


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Monte's Ham


Saveur Cooks Authentic American:
Celebrating the Recipes and Diverse
Traditions of Our Rich Heritage
by the Editors of Saveur Magazine,
1998, Chronicle Books

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The Ham Gambit

" ‘When I first moved to New York City,’ advertising copywriter Monte Mathews told us, ‘a friend gave me two pieces of advice: First, if you wear an expensive watch, you can wear anything else you want; second, when you have a lot of
people over, buy a cheap ham. I already had the watch, but the cheap-ham tip
threw me, and my friend did not elaborate. Not long afterward, at one of my first
big-city parties, what should I see center-stage on the buffet table but a giant
ham, bone intact, brown as could be. And what a ham! The mingled flavors of
brown sugar and orange permeated every bite, and there was a faint hint of spice
in the aftertaste. Guests hovered over it, and as the evening wore on, it became unrecognizable – thoroughly picked over. My hostess, flush with the triumph of having entertained so well, was effervescent, and I, feeling particularly close to
her that night, offered to stay behind and help clean up. As she washed and I
dried, I begged, ‘Please talk to me about your ham’ Almost conspiratorially,
she instructed me to buy the cheapest ham I could find, glaze the hell out of it,
and cook it for a long time. ‘You can feed 30 people for $6.99!’ she exclaimed.
I admit that I’ve never been able to find a bargain quite like that, - but 20 years
later, I still swear by cheap ham and a great glaze. I trot one out several times
a year, and it’s always the hit of the party.’ ”

“Italian prosciutto can cost $20 to $25 a pound; if Spain’s legendary jabugo ham ever reaches these shores, it’ll probably run at least twice that. Monte Mathews reports that he’s never paid more than 99 cents a pound for a ham to use for this unfailingly popular party dish.”

[And from the original Saveur article:] "People are constantly asking me about
my ham," says author Monte Matthews, and they are always astonished when I
tell them what it is. Ann Matthews, his sister, held out for years, content with
buying honey-baked hams (in Atlanta) and driving them home (to Waterloo,
Ontario). Now, however, she makes her own, Monte's way."

Serves 20 - 30

For ham:
One 15-pound smoked ham, on the bone

For Glaze:
1 1/2 cups orange marmalade
1 cup Dijon mustard
1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1 rounded tablespoon whole cloves

1. For ham, preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Trim tough outer skin and
excess fat from ham. Place ham in a large roasting pan and score,
making crosshatch incisions all over it with a sharp knife. Roast for 2
hours. Remove ham from oven and increase heat to 350 degrees F.
2. For glaze, combine the marmalade, mustard, and brown sugar in a
medium bowl. Stud ham with cloves, inserting one at the intersection
of each crosshatch, then brush entire surface of ham generously with
glaze and return to oven.
3. Cook ham another 1 1/2 hours, brushing with glaze at least 3 times.  Transfer to a cutting board or platter and allow to rest for about 30
minutes.  Carve and serve warm or at room temperature.


Featured Archive Recipes:
More from 'Saveur Cooks
Authentic American'!

Famous Root-Beer Glazed Ham
Ginger-Rum-Glazed Ham
Nigella's Ham in Coca-Cola
Spiced Baked Ham with Sweet Potatoes
Vicksburg Stuffed Baked Ham
 

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