A roast ham is one of the simplest recipes to make, and will feed a crowd easily. Because hams come precooked, you need only heat it through – in this case with a delicious and easy spice rub. It’s a low maintenance dish if you plan to have friends over for a Friday night dinner – round it out with biscuits, beans, mac & cheese – all comfort foods.Best of all, leftovers can be transformed into everything from sandwiches to pasta dishes throughout the week.
Spice Crusted Ham & Cheese Biscuits
Adapted from Gourmet, April 2001
1 6-8 lb. fully cooked shank or butt end ham
4 garlic cloves
1 tsp. fine sea salt
1 Tbsp. whole coriander seeds
1 Tbsp. mixed peppercorns (containing black, pink, white, and green peppercorns but not allspice)
1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp. butter, softened
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Remove any thick skin from ham and all but about a 3/4-inch layer of fat.
Mince and mash the garlic with salt to a paste. Coarsely grind the coriander and peppercorns with a mortar & pestle or in a coffee/spice grinder and stir in the garlic paste, flour and butter.
Put the ham, cut side down, into a roasting pan or large cast iron skillet. Spread the spice paste all over the ham. Bake in middle of oven until crust is golden and the ham is heated through – about 1 1/2 hours. Let stand 15 minutes before slicing.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter, chilled and cut into pieces
1/2-1 cup grated old cheddar
3/4 cup milk or buttermilk
Preheat oven to 400°F. In a mixing bowl (or in the bowl of a food processor) stir together the flour, baking powder and salt; add the butter and pulse or stir with a fork until crumbly. If you’re using a food processor, transfer the mixture to a bowl. Toss in the grated cheese.
Add the milk and stir gently until the dough begins to come together. For wedge-shaped biscuits, pat the dough into a circle that is about 1” thick on a cookie sheet. Cut the circle into 8 wedges with a knife or pastry cutter and separate them so that they are at least an inch apart on the sheet. For round biscuits, pat the dough about 1” thick and cut it into rounds with a biscuit cutter, glass rim or open end of a can, gently rerolling the scraps only once to get as many biscuits as possible.
Bake for about 20 minutes, until golden. Serve warm. Wrap well and freeze any you don’t eat the same day. Makes 8-12 biscuits.