Recipe of the Week: Slow Cooker Christmas Ham

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 small onions, peeled and halved
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 2 whole star anise
  • 2 bay leaves
  • big pinch of ground cloves
  • 1 (6-7 pound) smoked pork picnic shoulder (ham)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup apple cider

For the glaze:

  • 1/4 cup lingonberry jam (often labeled as wild natural lingonberries – but you can tell it’s jam by looking)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Place the onion halves in the bottom of a 6-quart slow cooker, cut side down. Scatter peppercorns, star anise, bay leaves, and ground cloves around them. Using them as a stand, set the pork shoulder on top of the onions, skin side facing up. Pour the apple cider and water over the pork. Cover and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours or on HIGH for 4 hours (until ham registers at least 160° F in center.
  2. When ham is done, preheat oven to 425° F.
  3. Thoroughly line a 9″x13″ baking dish with heavy duty foil (or a couple of layers of regular foil). Carefully lift the ham out of the slow cooker and set carefully into the pan.
  4. Use a sharp knife and some tongs to remove the skin and all but a thin layer of fat. Use a knife to score the fat (diamonds, squares, lines – whatever you like).
  5. Stir all of the glaze ingredients together until well combined, then spread the glaze over the scored fat and slide into preheated oven for 25 minutes.
  6. Remove ham from oven and let rest for at least 15 minutes before slicing.

Recipe of the Week: Monte Cristo Sandwich

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 eggs
  • pinches of salt and pepper
  • 4 slices sturdy white bread (or white bread of preference)
  • 2 tablespoons mustard
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • ½ pound thick sliced baked ham
  • ½ ounce, weight shredded gruyere cheese
  • additional salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • optional garnish/toppings: powdered sugar, honey, preserves

 INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Beat eggs in a shallow dish (large enough to fit a sandwich) along with a few pinches of salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. Assemble sandwiches, with mustard, mayonnaise, ham, cheese, salt and pepper to personal preference. Slightly compress sandwich.
  3. Over medium heat melt butter in skillet.
  4. Dip and coat each sandwich in beaten egg, and place in skillet. Cook sandwiches 2-3 minutes on each side, until browned to liking and cheese has melted.
  5. Makes 2 sandwiches.