"Christmas is coming"
I find it interesting that we don’t jerk hams, well I’ll take that back. I have seen a few companies sell jerk seasoned ham. But in the grand scheme of holiday hams, jerk is not on the top of recipes you grab for. Today that may all change. I made a very simple jerk rub, quite similar in flavor and texture to the Walkers wood variety. I added my favorite honey to the mix and made a pretty good ham.
The only downfall with my recipe was the ham. I took my nuff self into whole foods because I require a pig that was free of nitrates and nitrites, fed a vegetarian diet preferable apples raised hormone free and all that good stuff. I certainly found the pigs. However, in addition to the pics were the hefty price tags that I for some reason did not expect (what was I thinking). I quickly hung my tail between my legs took that 10 lb leg ham out of my cart and moseyed over to the petite ham section. My little ham was a mere 2.5 lbs. The problem I faced was the petite hams had no skin and no fat, the two things I think are very important for a Christmas ham.
If you’re not a fan of skin and fat on a ham, then you are all good. But I feel it adds so much flavor and helps to retain all the moisture especially because the recipe requires scoring. Scoring the fat will always trump scoring the meat. When you score the fat, and stuff the cuts with the flavor it permeates into the meat while leaving it juicy. When you score the meat and then return it to the oven to caramelize the outer layer of skin can become tough and trashy. You must constantly keep it moist by basting to ensure it does out dry out t much.
Never the less, we had a petite jerk Christmas ham on a random Sunday in November. When I get back to Jamaica I’m absolutely going to try this again with a bone in leg ham.
Ham prep instructional
Ingredients (printable recipe)
4 tablespoon allspice berries
2 scallion stalk
6 garlic cloves
2 teaspoon thyme leaves
1 scotch bonnet pepper
3 tablespoon honey
1 5lb cooked ham (with skin and fat)
2 cups apple juice
- Follow the video instructions to prepare the ham
- In a blender or with a mortar and pestle make a paste using the allspice, scallion, garlic, thyme, pepper, and honey
- Rub the paste all over the scored fat making sure to get it in the creases and cuts
- Place in a baking dish and pour the apple juice all over it
- Bake in a 400 degree oven uncovered for 30-40 minutes periodically basting with the apple juice
- The skin will caramelize and become golden and dark
- Remove from the oven once the fat begins to render and becomes crispy
- The recipe above is for a regular 5- 6 lb ham not the petite ham so you don't have to scale up the jerk marinade unless you really want to saturate the ham in it. It wont hurt to have too much because its unsalted.
- You may use a ham that’s skinless like the one in my images, however the time in the oven should be cut shorter so it does not dry out.
- Another tip, after you remove the skin and fat and fill the cuts with the jerk marinade, wrap in foil and allow it to rest overnight in the refrigerator. Then the next day, warm it in the oven in the foil for 20 minutes or so, then remove the foil, pour the apple juice over it and allow it to brown in the high temps until golden.