Now, there’s going to be a lot of different stories floating around the world wide super-web at the moment all tell you how to cook a decent ham… well, in actual fact that may be more applicable to the couple of weeks prior to Christmas but, as we all know, I am not the most talented at being super organized for this sort of thing so for now I shall just be pretending I am super organized and on the program (and not just the methadone program for a change).

So, about that ham…

Like I said, there is a lot of different ways to cook a ham much like say, skinning a cat or pleasuring a lady-man. I am not here to tell you my method is more righteous and will light the path to the heavens for you, but let me tell you it is pretty damn good and I am feeling more than just a little enlightened right now.


The other thing about what I did is, well, I cooked the ham from scratch which automatically gets you 300% 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. You should be able to hook this up from your local decent butcher if you give him a little notice.

This recipe is for 9kg of pure porcine glory. If you have a smaller leg, or even half a leg, the cooking time is going to be reduced. Just keep an eye on that internal temperature and hoist it when it hits 170F.

You’re gonna need a smoker
This is a very sexy sight
Get the skin off it (but save it for something like baked beans at the end of the week), glaze it up and get it back into your heated barrel
Carve it at the table like a boss because let’s face it, you are definitely a boss


(serves a small village)

1x 8-9kg leg of brined (pickled) pork
A smoker
Lump charcoal
A few bits of flavoursome smoky wood. I used ironbark

Get your smoker on and get it up to 225-250F. The ham will take somewhere in the vicinity of 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 and chucking a bit of smoky flavour wood on the coals every hour.
Once that internal probe tells you it’s 170F 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 (I gave it 10 out of 10 ;)), place in a baking dish and glaze with something sweet and sexy – this year I used 1 cup of honey and a little rosemary.
Whack it back into the pit or a suitably heated oven for another 1-1.5 hours, reglazing with the pan juices every 15 minutes.
Carve that thing at the table like a boss.

Enjoyed by parents and children alike

What’s Liz Having For Dinner Tonight

This one’s for Liz and her flood party challenge. See: it’s gonna flood.

She’s got tinned potatoes (just a little side note here… tinned potatoes? That’s farkin’ awesome), tinned tomatoes, tinned beans, spam, lettuce, pumpkin, parsley and quinoa. Ahh quinoa (pronounced kinwah), another one
of my personal fav’s.

I’m going out on limb here since I don’t have any actual knowledge about cooking spam, but I am going to pretend
that I know heaps about it and, say with conviction, that tonight Liz will be cooking a bumper meal of… spam and
tomato “cassoulet” with a quinoa crust, crushed potatoes and parsley and a simple leaf salad.

Yeah kid.

OK. First the cassoulet. If you want to see a prime example of a cassoulet in all it’s glory, suss out the version
Guillaume Brahimi does on sbsfood.com.au.

But, if you wanna make a flooded-in-and-have-to-use-the-stuff-in-my-cupboard-and-i’m-not-even-sure-what-spam-
is-doing-there cassoulet, then this is the recipe for you.

Pre-heat oven to 180C.
In an oven proof pan fry off one diced onion and 2 cloves of chopped garlic.
Add yer spam, chopped into bite sized chunks. Fry for a minute or two and hopefully it will start to brown up.
Add a couple of tins of cannellini beans, a tin of tomatoes, a bouquet garni (back a few posts), seasoning and a splash of water or stock to moisten it up.
Cover the top with a layer of cooked quinoa (suss out how to cook it a couple of posts back), just like you were putting breadcrumbs on yer mac and cheese.
Brush or douse with a little olive oil or butter and into the oven for 30 minutes, or until brown and crusty.

For the crushed potatoes I am assuming that potatoes in a can are already cooked, so maybe just put them in a microwave safe bowl and crush them a little with a masher or your hands. Heat them in the microwave for 2-3 minutes and then mix in some butter (don’t by shy now), a handful of chopped parsley and some salt and pepper. Heat the potatoes when your “cassoulet” is almost ready so they are still hot when you eat.

And the leaf salad. Whatever leaves you have, a handful of picked parsley and a sharp vinaigrette of 1 part lemon juice or vinegar, 3 parts olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Dress this puppy at the table when you’re ready to eat so the leaves don’t get soggy.

Let me know how you go…