Contributed by Catsrecipes Y-Group
- Serves 8 with leftovers
- an 8- to 10-pound fresh ham (shank and leg of pork)
- vegetable oil for rubbing the ham
- 1 tablespoon coarse salt
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
- ½ teaspoon crumbled dried sage
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon English-style dry mustard
- 12 ounces beer (not dark)
- watercress sprigs for garnish
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup beef broth
- ½ teaspoon English-style mustard
- ¼ teaspoon crumbled dried sage
- ⅛ teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
- ¼ teaspoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
- With a small sharp knife prick the ham skin all over, make 4 parallel ½-inch-deep incisions through the skin the entire length of the ham, and rub the ham lightly with the oil.
- In a small bowl rub together the coarse salt, the thyme, the sage, the pepper, and the mustard and rub the mixture over the entire surface of the ham.
- Put the ham on a roasting rack set in a roasting pan and put the pan in a preheated 500°F oven.
- Reduce the temperature immediately to 325°F and roast the ham for 1 hour.
- Pour half the beer over the ham, roast the ham for 30 minutes more, and pour the remaining beer over the ham.
- Roast the ham for 2½ hours more, or until a meat thermometer registers 170°F, and let it cool on the rack in the pan for 15 minutes.
- Pull off the brown crisp skin, leaving the layer of fat on the ham, with scissors cut the skin into small pieces, and arrange the cracklings in one layer in a baking pan.
- Sprinkle the cracklings with salt and bake them in the middle of a preheated 350°F oven, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes, or until they are crisp and browned.
- Transfer the cracklings to paper towels and let them drain.
- Cut the remaining fat from the ham, slice the meat thinly across the grain, and arrange it on a platter.
- Keep the ham warm, covered.
- Skim off the fat from the juices in the roasting pan, add 1 cup water, and deglaze the pan over moderate heat, scraping up the brown bits.
- Transfer the liquid to a saucepan.
- In a small bowl whisk together the flour and ¼ cup of the broth until the flour is dissolved and whisk the mixture into the deglazing liquid with the remaining ¾ cup broth, the mustard, the sage, the thyme, and the vinegar and pepper to taste, and simmer the gravy, whisking, for 5 minutes.
- Garnish the ham with the cracklings and the watercress sprigs and serve it with the gravy.
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