Wine and Herb Ham with Au Jus sauce

Baked Ham with the Mark West Pinot Noir

A ham had been sitting in my freezer a couple of weeks from my dad (yup, ham of the “homegrown” variety) and I decided to tackle it for a weekly dinner we have with friends (and yes, I ate it…if you’re wondering why check out this post for a little background). I decided I didn’t want to go with the typical glazed ham, I feel like every baked ham I’ve ever had was glazed and garnished with pineapple. Don’t get me wrong, I loved it, but I was looking to change things up.

I searched for some different ham recipes and came up with this herb crusted ham to use as base. I couldn’t find fresh rosemary at the grocery store, so I had to get the dried spice variety. I also couldn’t get lavender so I got some sage just to add some more flavor. I also used a Mark West Pinot Noir, recommended to me by a nice gentleman in the liquor store.

You’ll need (for the ham, Au Jus recipe below):

1 Tb. fresh chopped thyme leaves

1 tsp. rosemary

1 tsp. fresh chopped tarragon leaves

1/2 tsp. chopped sage leaves

Salt and pepper, to taste

2 c. red wine, preferably a Pinot Noir

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Mix together the herbs in a small bowl. Take the ham, put it in a roasting pan, and stab it. And by that I mean use a fork to poke holes in it for marination. Go crazy! When you’re done with that drizzle about 1/4 c. of wine over the ham, sprinkle with salt & pepper, and rub the herbs on. Put it in the oven and start baking (25 min/pound). Check periodically and drizzle with wine every now and then, being careful to not wash away all of your herbs.

When the ham temperature is about 150 degrees, remove it from the oven and loosely wrap it in foil on a rack. Put it back in the oven

Oy vay look at those herbs...

for about 30 minutes. When the temperature reaches 165 degrees, remove from oven and let the ham stand. Don’t freak out if your ham (or any large meat, like a turkey) is done before your guests have arrived. The more time meat has to stand, the more flavors it absorbs as it cools. I would suggest allowing this for about 30 minutes to an hour. If you’re worried about it getting too cold (which it really shouldn’t if wrapped in foil) then place it in a low-temp oven while you wait or shortly before serving.

For the Au Jus sauce:

1 cup vegetable broth

1 cup red wine

Salt and pepper to taste

Drippings from the ham

Mix all of these together in a small sauce pan. Heat until boiling, lower and simmer until you’re ready to eat. Serve in a gravy dish and allow your guests to use as they wish!

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