HAM: AN OBSESSION WITH THE HINDQUARTER BY MARK SCARBROUGH AND BRUCE WEINSTEIN
One 8- to 10-pound bone-in fresh ham, preferably from the shank end, any rind removed
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 cup maple syrup
Put the joint in a large roasting pan, preferably one that’s shiny enough to reflect lots of ambient heat and not so flimsy that it tips willy-nilly when you pick it up.
Set the oven rack as high as it can go and still afford the ham at least 2 inches of head space. Leave the roast in its pan out on the counter and fire the oven up to 325 F.
Mix the glaze (the sugar, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, nutmeg, and salt) in a small bowl. Wash and dry your hands, then smooth the spice mixture all over the ham’s external surface. Lightly work it down into some of the crevices.
Cover the whole kit and caboodle with aluminum foil, shove it in the oven, and leave it alone for 31/2 hours, while you go do whatever it is you do when a big, sweating hunk of meat is roasting in your oven.
Peel off the aluminum foil. Baste the ham with about half the maple syrup, preferably using a basting brush. Take it easy so you don’t knock off the spice coating.
Continue roasting the ham uncovered, basting every 15 minutes or so with more maple syrup as well as pan drippings, until an instant-read meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat without touching bone registers 170 F, about 11/4 hours.
If it starts to singe or turn too dark, tent it loosely with foil, uncovering it just at the last to get it back to crunchy-crisp.