Now, there’s going to be a lot of different stories floating around the world-wide super-web around this point in time all telling you how you should cook a ham. Some will claim to be good. Some will claim to be the best. All I know is that there are a lot of different ways to cook a ham much like, say, skinning a cat. I am not here to tell you my method is more righteous, but this is the way I do it and you can take that however you want to – just for what it is, possibly with a grain of salt, or maybe roughly from behind is more your thing. You choose.
The thing about smoking your own ham is, well, the fact that you have smoked your own ham which automatically gets you a fuckload more kudos than just glazing a store-bought smoky leg o’ pig. Also smoking a ham is not nearly as hard as you think it might be, as long as you have a smoker (Bullet, barrel or off-set is what I have used) and a probe thermometer. You will also be needing a brined (or pickled) leg of pork for this exercise, which you should be able to hook this up from your local decent butcher if you give him or her a little notice.
This recipe is for quite a bit of pure porcine glory because I like to feed a lot of people at Christmas, I also like to have at least a meals worth of leftovers and some good bones to freeze down for soup next year. If you do need so much ham in your life just grab a half leg of brined pork from your butcher. If you need it to cook a bit faster you can ask your butcher for a boned and rolled leg which should cut the cooking time down to 5 – 6 hours… but just remember that means no awesome soup bones for you. Come back one year.
(serves a small village)
1x leg of brined (pickled) pork, 8 – 9 kg, cut in half at the joint (I’m pretty sure your butcher will do this for you)
A few bits of flavoursome smoky wood. Maybe hickory or apple would be nice.
Get your smoker on and get it up to 225F (110C). The ham will take somewhere in the vicinity of 7 or 8 hours to cook, so bare this in mind when you are setting up your pit.
Add a piece of smoky flavour wood.
Get that leg of pork into the smoker, insert temperature probe into thickest part of the leg and put the lid on so it may do its thing.
Drink a beer.
If you are happy your pit is going to hold its temp for a few hours you could go and have a nap or watch I little bit of that carnival folk pornography I know you love so much.
Now it’s all about keeping that temperature constant.
Once that internal probe tells you it’s 165F (70C) in the middle of that leg it’s time to pull it out.
Now you have ham.
Rest the ham for half an hour or refrigerate for a later date.
Remove skin, leaving as much of the fat as you think you like (I like to leave it all for flavour and moistness), score, place in a baking dish and glaze with something sweet and sexy (a recipe for one such glaze follows).
Whack it back into the pit or a suitably heated oven for another 1 hour or so, reglazing with the pan juices every 15 minutes.
Carve that thing at the table like a boss.
SWEET AND SEXY GOCHUJANG HONEY GLAZE
2 tablespoons gochujang
1 cup honey
½ cup brown sugar
1 cup mirin
½ cup white vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic granules
Combine all ingredients in a pot.
Simmer over medium-low heat for 20 minutes.
Set aside until you need it to glaze some sexy arsed ham.
Glaze will last refrigerated for 4 weeks.