Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Tuesdays Can Be Festive

I have been a spoiled girl lately.  So, I decided to make a special meal for Andrew, as a way to show my appreciation.  I found a ten pound fresh picnic ham at my local King Kullen grocery store.  Usually, we only have fresh ham on special family occasions.  While walking around the store, I was thinking back to a meal that my Mother made when her cousin Krista and her family visited from Germany.  She made a fresh ham baked with whole prunes and apricots.  It was twenty years ago and I remember it like it was yesterday!  I decided to try a spin on this idea.

I set the oven to 405 degrees as soon as I got home and got to work scoring the fat and removing the silver skin.  I had to use our cleaver to score the fat, which worked out just fine.  I sprinkled the meat with hot papkika, Colemans dry mustard and salt.  Then into the oven. I left the temperature high for about an hour before I turned it down to 350 degrees.  Then with a half hour left to go, I applied my glaze.  Using the memory, I concocted a glaze by blending 5 prunes, 1/3 cup of apricot preserves, 1/3 cup of Andrews' raisin BBQ sauce and 1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil.  When the internal temperture reached 140 dgrees, out it came to rest for twenty minutes.

Andrew did the carving.  He separated the cracklins from the meat.  I have to say that they were addictive.  I know that they are not something that I should overdo - but I could not stop crunching on the porky goodness!

I roasted some (pre-cut) turnips and yams with extra virgin olive oil and salt.  Altogether, this meal was a big success and I am proud of myself.  Maybe I should cook more often.  The meat was tender and moist.  The glaze made each bite slightly sweet and savory and made the cracklins into a candy-like burst of pork perfection.

I asked for help at my local liquor store about what to serve with the fresh ham.  I was told to go with a lighter red than what I was thinking.  I chose a McWilliams Shiraz from Australia. ($10).  This was a good complement to the special meal.  It is a bright Red with tastes of plum and raspberry with a little oak flavor.  The bottle described the flavor of plum and this made me purchase it because I thought it would go well with the prune glaze.  I like it when I am right.

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