Alton Brown’s City Ham

1 city style (brined) ham, hock end*

1/4 cup brown mustard

2 cups dark brown sugar

1-ounce bourbon (poured into a spritz bottle)

2 cups crushed ginger snap cookies
Heat oven to 250 degrees F.
Remove ham from bag, rinse and drain thoroughly. Place ham, cut side down, in a roasting pan. Using a small paring knife or clean utility knife set to the smallest blade setting, score the ham from bottom to top, spiraling clockwise as you cut. (If you’re using a paring knife, be careful to only cut through the skin and first few layers of fat). Rotate the ham after each cut so that the scores are no more than 2-inches across. Once you’ve made it all the way around, move the knife to the other hand and repeat, spiraling counter clockwise. The aim is to create a diamond pattern all over the ham. (Don’t worry too much about precision here.)
Tent the ham with heavy duty foil, insert a thermometer, and cook for 3 to 4 hours or until the internal temperature at the deepest part of the meat registers 130 degrees F.
Remove and use tongs to pull away the diamonds of skin and any sheets of fat that come off with them.
Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Dab dry with paper towels, then brush on a liberal coat of mustard, using either a basting brush or a clean paint brush (clean as in never-touched paint). Sprinkle on brown sugar, packing loosely as you go until the ham is coated. Spritz this layer lightly with bourbon, then loosely pack on as much of the crushed cookies as you can.
Insert the thermometer (don’t use the old hole) and return to the oven (uncovered). Cook until interior temperature reaches 140 degrees F, approximately 1 hour.
Let the roast rest for 1/2 hour before carving.
*Cook’s note: A city ham is basically any brined ham that’s packed in a plastic bag, held in a refrigerated case and marked “ready to cook”, “partially cooked” or “ready to serve”. Better city hams are also labeled “ham in natural juices”.


I’m going to first start off by saying, that I tried making this pumpkin bread pudding by Martha Stewart this weekend. I had high hopes for this recipe because it looked so good. It was bad. There was something missing in this recipe, and it needed more liquid. I’m going to try and figure it out, because maybe it should have said 2 cups of milk instead of just 1? What a good waste of dulce de leche.

Another recipe we tried this weekend, was this City Ham recipe by Alton Brown. Ben was in charge of making this and he did a good job. I just made a box of au gratin potatoes to go a long with this. Normally, if we have ham we have cheesy hash brown potatoes. SO good! He thought he had let the ham get to high but it ended up being ok. Oh my god, the crust on this ham was fabulous! I really liked the ginger snaps and it gave it a nice crunch. My dog Jerry Lee wanted some of it too because he tried licking a piece of the ham off my plate. We’re trying not to give them human food because we don’t want them begging.

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