Here is one of the most famous ham recipes anywhere, from Anna Amandolara Nurse, a truly lovely lady, generous and kind, and one of the greatest cooking teachers of all time.
You might not think of this as a particularly Italian-American recipe, but it is - maybe with an emphasis on the American. As Anna says, even at a traditional Italian-American Christmas this ham is always on the sideboard: "It may not be the main feature, but it's always an extra added attraction." When you put away all the perishable foods, the pies stay out and the ham stays out, ready for snacking at any time.
This ham has been the centerpiece of the James Beard Foundation fundraiser brunches that Anna has run for the last ten years. This recipe has also appeared in print many times, and there's a reason for that: It's the best! Anna uses Lundy smoked country hams from North Carolina because she likes their consistency-they're never too salty, never too fatty.
Serves 8 to 12 as a main dish, lunch, or snack
1 large smoked ham, about 12 to 18 pounds
3 cups pineapple juice
1 pound dark brown sugar
One 16-ounce bottle dark corn syrup
Preheat the oven to 325° F.
Place the ham in a shallow roasting pan. Score the fat and stud it completely with cloves. Pour the pineapple juice over the ham and bake for 12 minutes per pound.
After 1 1/2 hours, remove the ham from the oven and carefully pat the brown sugar on top, completely covering the top of the ham. Gently pour the corn syrup over the ham, being careful not to disturb the sugar covering. Continue baking, basting every 15 minutes.
When the ham has baked its allotted time, remove it from oven and continue basting until it is cooled-this gives it a beautiful glaze. The remaining syrup can be used again over a side dish such as yams, butternut squash, or sweet potatoes if you are serving the ham hot as a main dish. Otherwise, it can be left on the sideboard or kitchen counter at room temperature during the day for snacking purposes, then stored in the refrigerator for several days.
Recipe printed from "Little Italy" by David Ruggerio. Artisan Books 1997
Want More Recipes? See My Latest Book:
Mary Ann returns to her family's humble beginnings to bring us a treasure trove of more than 200 time-honored recipes.
Buy it now from Amazon for just $24.00
A Testimonial From Mario Batali:
This collection epitomizes the tradition and love that goes into all of Mary Ann Esposito's cooking. Like her award-winning TV series, this book will live on for years with all of those who cook her delicious recipes. My kids love everything Mary Ann cooks!"