Berkshire Ham+Juniper+Maple

DSC03407I respect you.


That’s why i’m not gonna waste your time.

I’ll  just get straight to it.  The answer to the question swimming around in your head, “Ugh i’m supes hangry (hungry+angry), what do i doooooo??!!”

The answer is Pork, ya big dummy. The explicit answer, is Fresh Berkshire Ham. Waayyy better than the smoked stuff you get from the Honeybaked Factory. Psshh that stuff is #HoneyBogus

Fresh ham is everything. For you craft butcher-nerds in the audience, to whom the words “Berkshire Pork” mean something, i doff my cap!  *doffs cap*

To the rest, just associate those words with, “Yum”.


“Yummy” in this context of course  meaning, “the taste of incomparable animal husbandry partnered with the finest sustainable land stewardship methods and good old fashioned Berkshire valley woodland flavor”. Yowza…was that even a sentence? #porkcoma

Fresh ham is best brined before roasting. Wait… you’ve Never brined before? Oh no! ahhhh!!!!!!!

Oh hush, you know i’ll tell you how. I brined my ham (approx 5#) for 16hrs. In a ziploc bag. easy. I put the ham in a bag. Filled it with enough water to cover , then combined the following:

1/2 c. Salt

Whole Peppercorns

3 Bay Leaves


Juniper Berries



After your ham has been brined (min. of 8hrs/max of 2 days!)drain the liquid and place in a roasting pan.Score the top fat. sprinkle with another pinch of salt. Crank your oven to 450.


Cook ham UNCOVERED for about 15 mins or until the skin starts to puff up and brown. You will hear a lot of snap, crackle popping. this is good. its singing to you

in a little pot on the stove, warm 1/4-1/3 c. maple syrup (depending on the size of your ham) and sprinkle in a few whole cloves. let steep for a couple minutes. Then, pour over your ham. cook another 2-3 minutes. Then add a splash of water and put the top on

Reduce oven to 325. cook until it reaches an internal temp of 150. (worried you’ll dry it out? here is some super good advice!)

Add a little more liquid if you think the glaze is burning. Base your ham a couple times throughout the cooking. Just listen to its needs. Don’t freak out. Embrace the beautiful quiet. Let your house smell nice. Pour yourself a cocktail and Toast the pig! What noble creatures we must honor through our care!

In conclusion, make this roast for sunday dinner with some Brussels Sprouts and Hasselback Potatoes. Then eat it monday morning  for breakfast on toasted sourdough. Want a dirty little secret? Cook your egg in a bit of the fat. Just render it down on med-low.

And now i’ll speak directly to the great farmers who tend the fertile valleys of our great nation: be it Berkshire, Hudson, Napa, Willamette, or any other valley i do not know by name but know by heart, i thank you. Thank you for growing real food. Thank you for caring that it tastes this good. Thank you for tending a harvest that makes my body and brain full and happy (respectively).

Without you, we die. #LittleFarmersForTheWin! #EATSMART2013 #GotALittleMedievalHereAtTheEnd #Oops




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