My Recipe Box

Fresh Ham with Rosemary, Garlic, and Lemon


Serves 6, with leftovers

  • To learn more, read:
    Cook Once/Eat Twice: Fresh Ham
  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 108

With just a few seasonings rubbed on a day ahead, a slow-roasted fresh ham (that is, an uncured, unsmoked hind leg of a hog), becomes a juicy, fork-tender, and fragrant holiday centerpiece.

For the ham
  • 8-1/2 lb. bone-in fresh half-ham, preferably shank end, rind (skin) removed
  • 1 medium lemon
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh rosemary leaves
  • 6 medium cloves garlic, halved
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
For the pan sauce
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup lower-salt chicken broth
  • 2 tsp. unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbs. cherry jam
Prepare the ham

Set the ham fat side up in a large heavy-duty roasting pan. Use a sharp knife to score the fat in a 1-inch diamond pattern, cutting only about three-quarters of the way through the fat.

Peel the zest from the lemon with a vegetable peeler, avoiding the white pith. Put the zest, olive oil, rosemary, garlic, 1 Tbs. salt, and 1 tsp. pepper in a food processor and pulse to a coarse paste. Rub this mixture all over the ham. Cover the pan tightly with foil and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours.

Position a rack in the oven so that the ham will sit as high as possible but still have at least 2 inches head space for air circulation. Heat the oven to 350°F.

Keep the ham covered with the foil and roast for 3 hours. Uncover the pan and drizzle the vinegar over the ham, taking care not to wash off the coating. Continue roasting, basting every 15 minutes or so, until the ham is well browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of the meat without touching bone registers 170°F (check in several places), 1 to 1-1/2 hours more. If the ham or drippings begin to brown too much, cover loosely with foil to prevent burning. Transfer the ham to a carving board to rest while you make the sauce.

Make the sauce

Pour the pan drippings into a bowl, let sit until the fat rises to the top, and then skim off the fat. Return the skimmed drippings to the roasting pan and set the pan over medium heat. Whisk in the wine, scraping up any particles stuck to the pan's bottom. Whisk in the broth, add 1/2 cup water, and continue to boil until the liquid is reduced by one-third, about 2 minutes. Meanwhile, use a fork to mash the butter with the flour in a small bowl or ramekin to create a thick paste. Whisk the cherry jam into the sauce, then add the butter paste in parts, whisking until the paste is fully dissolved and the sauce is simmering and thickened.

Carve the ham and serve with the sauce. Leftover ham will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days and in the freezer for up to 2 months.

Serving Suggestions

Serve with roasted sweet potatoes and lightly sautéed green beans.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : per 7-3/4 oz., Calories (kcal): 760, Fat (kcal): 54, Fat Calories (g): 490, Saturated Fat (g): 21, Protein (g): 57, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 26, Carbohydrates (mg): 4, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 4.5, Sodium (g): 680, Cholesterol (g): 215, Fiber (g): 0,

Photo: Scott Phillips

Absolutely delicious! Everyone loved it. I did not use the cherry jam for the gravy due to allergies but did not miss it in the least. This one is a keeper. I used a 9.5 lb roast and it was done much sooner than expected so keep an eye on the progress.

I haven't made this yet (bought an 8# fresh ham today and looking for a recipe) but I had to say - I wish I had read more REVIEWS of the freakin' recipe which is why I clicked on REVIEWS instead of hearing people's rants about inhumane treatment of animals - c'mon people - there are other forums for that kind of thing!

I haven't made this yet (bought an 8# fresh ham today and looking for a recipe) but I had to say - I wish I had read more REVIEWS of the freakin' recipe which is why I clicked on REVIEWS instead of hearing people's rants about inhumane treatment of animals - c'mon people - there are other forums for that kind of thing!

This receipe is awesome and as far as your grievance on the inhumane treatment of pigs well do what I do go shoot urself a wild hog and cook him up

Pan sauce is excellent!!

This is fabulous recipe and am making it for Easter Dinner. I might even try it in an oven bag. Any thoughts on that ideas? Joyfull, I was very surpised you used this forum to share your point of view and that of one show that you saw on TV. It is important to be concious of where we buy our products these days. If that was your meaning, I understand. If you investigate further, ALL animals kept for human consumption are kept the same way, Veal, chickens, cows - check out some news clips on cow slaughter and you will never eat beef again. Also what the meat packers put into the hamburgers you buy in the frozen food section - read the ingredients. How about how we treat race horses, those that do not win, get PACKED on a truck for Canada slaughter and some don't survive the trip from trampling and dehydration. I understand your thoughts, but that is just one viewpoint that you saw, do some more research. I am not a vegetarian but am selective with my purchases. Such as I have my own beef ground by the butcher. Has anyone bought a puppy from a pet store? Do you know how that puppy was produced? By mass breeding of one female kept in a tiny cage with no human contact, bred time and time again to produce puppies. As an educator, it is important to research your viewpoint thoroughy before sharing. :) Sorry everyone, but I just had to say something.

Joyfull, I completely agree. I have chosen to eat less meat and spend more money to guarantee that the meat I eat is not treated inhumanely. For the last 5 Easters, I have purchased my ham at Whole Foods. It costs about $50, but I only make ham a once or twice a year, and it is worth it to me to know that I do not support factory farming. I only buy meat from Whole Foods or from my local farmers' market. I buy my Thanksgiving Turkey, burgers for the 4th of July, etc. this way. And I eat meatless meals about 60-70% of the time. I have lost 40 pounds, significantly lowered my cholesterol, and I feel better about the food I eat. Additionally, it TASTES better -- actually MUCH better, than factory farmed meat. It's worth it. And you can still have your Easter ham. I made this recipe, and it was delicious. And this IS the right forum for Joyfull to bring this up. Being conscious about the food we eat is important.

I thought this recipe was absolutely wonderful. My entire family enjoyed it and I will be making it for Easter dinner this year as well.

This recipe is definitley a keeper! Very delicious and the pan sauce is awesome. I was going to skip that part and am glad I didn't. The recipe was a bit confusing though. It said "scraping up any 1/2 cup of water"; no idea what that meant and it didn't say when to add the broth? I just guessed. Bruce and Mark, please correct the recipe. Thanks.

Excellent rub for the ham. I love the fact that it's not a sweet glaze. The pan sauce made it over the top fantastic. Read my full review at:

@Joyfull...While I likewise don't care for the inhumane treatment of animals raised for consumption or otherwise, perhaps you should have chosen another forum to air your grievances other than Fine Cooking. This is not the time and definitely not the place for such vulgarity. Shame on you! Your username does not suit you at all!

I'm a huge lover of ham. Its always been my favorite meal, but after just recently watching a hidden video taken in one of the largest suppliers of pork in the US, I refuse to buy ham or pork unless they change the way they treat pigs. Watching pregnant pigs crammed into gestation crates so small, they could not turn around. Going slowly insane from being penned in such a small confined space, that they chew the metal bars trying to escape. All the while, the chewing causes their teeth & mouths to rip, and bleed onto the floor. Even with the ripping and bleeding, they continue to chew the bars. Its absolutely horrid how they are treated. I realize these animals are destined for slaughter, but there is no excuse in this day and age, that pigs nor any other animal destined for slaughter, to be treated so inhumanely. For this pork supplier to plead poverty as the excuse they've not eliminated gestation crates as promised, when in fact, they had a profit of almost 7 million dollars in the last quarter, is beyond pathetic.

Delicious! It is a lot of meat, but the leftovers were a bonus. I made the polenta spoonbread and that was great, too. The bone made a good bean soup. I had no trouble finding a fresh ham but I live in a community where there are many folks with eastern european origin. I will make this again. The butcher disagreed with the author in which end of the ham to choose. The butcher thought that the muscle in the shank end was stringier than in the butt end.

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