When we asked our Culinary Director Eric Joppie for his favorite recipe using Sweetheart Ham for Spring, he told us he wanted to change the way people think about cooking a ham. The common perception of ham is that it is sliced thin for sandwiches, or spiral sliced with a syrupy glaze for the holidays. So he's developed a recipe that totally rethinks the way you cook your ham, and pairs it with the beautiful vegetables that are beginning to pop into the season. The recipe is simple and celebratory all at once.
Serves 4 for Dinner
1 Olympia Provisions Sweetheart Ham, about 2 lbs
1-quart chicken stock
1 white onion onion
6 cloves garlic
1 bunch asparagus
1 bunch baby or hakurei turnips, green tops removed but 1/2” stem left attached
1 bunch purple sprouting broccoli
¼ cup olive oil
4 russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
½ cup kosher salt
1 stick butter
½ cup buttermilk
For the ham
Heat your oven to 325F (300F if using convection). Choose a baking dish that will hold the ham with as little extra space as possible. Add the chicken stock, very coarsely chopped onion and carrot, and the whole garlic cloves. The ham should just be submerged. Cover tightly with foil and place in the oven. Bake for 4 hours, or until fork tender. Allow the ham to “rest” in the braising liquid if serving immediately. Or, allow cooling to room temperature in the braising liquid before refrigerating if preparing in advance; this reheats beautifully!
For the potatoes
Place the potatoes in cold water to cover by 2” and season with about ½ cup salt. This may seem like a lot of salt, but the cooking liquid will be poured off and this is the main seasoning the potatoes will receive. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. You do not want to violently boil the potatoes or they will fall apart. Once they are tender, drain well and put the pan back on low heat and allow the potatoes to steam. Once they are dry, transfer to a food mill or ricer and pass the potatoes and the butter at the same time into a clean pot. Stir in the buttermilk and return to medium-low heat to bring the potatoes back to serving temperature. Season to taste with salt if needed… they will likely not need much.
For the roasted vegetables
Heat your oven to 450F. Place a sheet pan in the oven to heat. You will cook each type of vegetable separately, but you can use the same pan for each batch. Toss each vegetable in 1/3 of the olive oil and season well with salt. Spread in an even layer on the hot sheet pan. Cook until just tender; about 4 minutes for asparagus, about 6 minutes for turnips and broccoli.
Reheat the ham if prepared ahead. Drain the braising jus and cooking vegetables and puree in a blender. Add a pat of butter and stir in if desired. Season with salt and pepper to taste. We like to serve this on a large platter family style, with the mashed potatoes in the center, the roasted vegetables around the platter, and the ham slightly broken apart on top with the gravy poured on and around the dish.