Roasted Fresh Ham with Raisin Bourbon Sauce

This fresh ham is great spit roasted and is from my Southwestern Grill book. If doing it over charcoal, it can mean spending about a day tending the fire and basting it, however it will be well worth the effort. My mother always loved this dish and prepared it for special family affairs. Besides Easter, another great time for serving this is Derby day, if you are staying home and watching the races on television. Most any holiday is fine too.

Yield: 18 to 24 servings Temperature: 350F Temperature: 350F Time: about 5 to 6 hours

 1 (11-to 13-lb.) fresh whole ham

1 Tablespoon salt Freshly ground black pepper � cup freshly minced ginger root or 1 teaspoon ground ginger 2 Tablespoons fresh sage leaves or 2 teaspoons dried sage Raisin Bourbon Sauce (see below) Prepared mustard Chutney

Raisin Bourbon Sauce

2 cups raisins, preferably half dark and half golden

1 cup bourbon 1 cup packed light brown sugar � cup cornstarch 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg � teaspoon ground allspice 1 Tablespoon grated lemon zest 2 cups cold water 1 cup apple juice � cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

Have the butcher bone ham, removing skin and excess fat layer and trimming out pockets of fat on inside. To prepare for roasting, place inside down on a cutting board and trim off any excess fat on outside, leaving at least � inch of fat layer to keep meat moist. (For ease in trimming fat, use a boning knife and insert it into fat about � inch from lean and slice off fat.) Score outside fat into 1- inch diamonds. Combine salt, pepper, ginger and sage in a small bowl and mix. Rub about half of it over entire inside surface. Then roll inside of ham tightly together. Secure tightly with kitchen twine, allowing about 1 inch between each tie. Sprinkle outer surface of ham with remaining spice mixture. To roast, preheat oven to 350F about five hours before desired serving time. Place roast in oven and cook 30 minutes per pound or until meat thermometer registers 160F. Allow to rest 20 minutes before carving. Prepare Bourbon Raisin Sauce. Serve with Raisin Bourbon Sauce, mustard and chutney.

Raisin Bourbon Sauce

Combine raisins and bourbon in a small bowl and macerate 2 hours or so at room temperature. Combine brown sugar, cornstarch, spices and zest in a large nonreactive saucepan. Stir in a little of the water to make a smooth paste. Gradually stir in remaining water, apple juice and lemon juice. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and add raisins and bourbon. Serve warm.

Note: If using a rotisserie, about 8 hours before you wish to serve, and following the manufacturer's instructions, build a fire or turn on electric or gas rotisserie unit. For charcoal, build fire about 2 inches from back, removing grate and placing a pan for dripping, centered under meat. The firebed should be about 6 inches wide and extend beyond pit about 4 inches on each end. The coals should be gray when you start cooking. Heat unit to 350F (175C). Meanwhile, evenly skewer roast on spit, adjusting until it is well balanced, and tighten forks into meat at either end, centering roast on spit. Position so that motor will turn properly. Roast, spooning pan juices over meat periodically. If using charcoal, keep adding briquettes, 6 to 10 every 30 minutes.

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