Whole Country Ham with Redeye Gravy

Recipe by: Fritz Knack

Servings: 24

Prep time: 72:00

Categories: Main Course, Meat

Item Amount Measure Note
water as needed
14- 16 pound whole country ham 1 each
coffee 1 quart
brown sugar 1/2 cup
orange juice 1/4 cup approximately
yellow mustard 2 Tablespoons
cloves 30 each approximately

Scrub any mold off the ham. Place in large container, cover with water, and soak for 24 - 48 hours, changing the water at least once. Scrub the ham again if the soaking loosened mold or dirt that wouldn't come off before.

Cut off the hock and set it aside. A pruning saw works nicely for this.

Place the ham on a rack in a roasting pan. Pour at least half the coffee into the bottom of the pan. Cover tightly with heavy duty aluminum foil. Don't line the pan with foil or you won't get the drippings. Bake for 4 to 6 hours at 350°, at least 20 minutes per pound, to an internal temperature of 170° to 180°. Baking ham for a little too long is better than erring in the other direction. With the moist cooking method, it may turn out a little more tender, and an undercooked ham can be a nasty thing. Uncover and allow to cool for a little while, then remove the ham from the pan and set it aside.

Pour the pan liquid into a fat separator. Put the pan back in the oven for a few minutes to dry out the drippings. Remove the pan from the oven and place it on the stove over medium-low heat. Add a little water and use a wooden spoon to dissolve all the drippings. Add this mixture to the fat separator. Once the fat has risen to the top, add all but the fat to the redeye gravy (see below).

Remove and discard the hard outer rind of the ham, but leave enough fat for scoring. Score the fat in a 1- to 11/2-inch crosshatch pattern and insert cloves into each of the sections.

About an hour before carving, preheat the oven to 400°. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar and mustard. Add enough orange juice to make the mixture thin enough to pour, but not too runny. Put the ham on a rack in a roasting pan and drizzle the mixture over the ham. (It's okay to line the pan for this stage to make cleanup easier.) Return the ham to the oven and bake for about 20 minutes. Remove and allow to cool for at least half an hour before carving.

Redeye Gravy: Cut as much meat and fat off the hock as possible. Fry the pieces in a medium pot until they are well browned. Add the bone from the hock and cover with coffee. Simmer over low heat, adding water as necessary, while the ham bakes. The meat and bone will be discarded, so you want to get as much of the flavor out of them as you can. By the time the baking juices and pan drippings have been added, the flavor may be too strong. Add water to dilute, but be sure to simmer it in for a few minutes to avoid a watery taste. Strain and serve with the ham.