3 easy Easter recipes
Isn't the snow disappearing fast! Doesn't it feel good to have your yard back? The kids are enjoying being outside, especially if there is mud, and I bet yours do too.
With Easter just around the corner, I thought it would be nice to share with you some of my favorite recipes for Easter dinner. Most hams come cured and smoked, but they are usually way too salty and contain nitrates which gives it that pink color. So if you're up for a change, try one of these fresh ham recipes! And if you prefer poultry, one of our free range chicken is a great alternative to the regular turkey dinner and it won't take you as long to prepare.
ROASTED FRESH HAM WITH A MAPLE-SPICE GLAZE
For this one you will need a fresh ham from the upper hind leg of the pig. Fresh ham tastes like a really moist pork tenderloin. Also the more bones and fat the better it will taste!
- 8- to 10-pound bone-in fresh ham, preferably from the shank end, any rind removed
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
Put the ham in a large roasting pan. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Mix sugar, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, nutmeg and salt in a small bowl. Smooth the spice mixture all over the ham's external surface.
Cover with aluminum foil and put in the oven for 3 1/2 hours.
Peel off the aluminum foil. Baste the ham with about half the maple syrup, preferably using a basting brush. Take it easy so you don't knock off the spice coating.
Continue roasting the ham, uncovered this time, basting every 15 minutes or so with more maple syrup as well as any pan drippings, until an instant-read meat thermometer inserted into the thickest park of the meat without touching bone registers 170 degrees, about 11/4 hours.
Transfer the ham to a cutting board and let it rest at room temperature for 15 minutes before carving.
Serves about 12 or more.
SIMPLE HOME-CURED HAM STEACK RECIPE
If you're not having the whole family for dinner, try the smaller version : the ham steak. The easiest way to cure it at home is with a wet cure, aka brine.
First prepare the basic brine:
- 1 quart water
- ¼ cup non-iodized salt
- ¼ cup brown sugar (note – You may cut the sugar in half, or omit it altogether. You may also substitute a few tablespoons of honey or maple syrup.)
Mix up the brine until all sugar and salt is dissolved.
Next, place the ham steak in a flat non-reactive baking dish (glass or ceramic, no plastic or metal!!) that can hold the whole steak but will fit in the fridge. Pour the brine over the steak, and make sure it is entirely submerged. Depending on the size of your container and the size of your steak, you may need to double the recipe and mix up a second brine. Weight the ham down with a plate to keep it submerged, and cover with plastic wrap.
Keep it in the fridge until it is “cured”, meaning the brine has thoroughly absorbed into the meat. This will happen at about the rate of 2 pounds per day. So for most of our ham steaks, 24 hours is sufficient. You can leave it longer, up to one week, in the fridge.
Finally rinse the ham off to remove excess salt and cook it any way you like. We recommend roasting it (bake at 350 degrees till done) or grilling it (for a nice smokey touch) rather than pan frying it. Because of the sugar, pan frying the ham may caramelize and burn the sugar before the ham is fully cooked.
ROASTED EASTER CHICKEN
If you are not into pork, try one of our free range chicken for a treat this Easter.
If you like the skin extra crispy, pat the chicken dry and rub the skin with oil, salt, and pepper.
You can add a few aromatics, like lemon and rosemary or thyme, inside the bird.
• Roast for around 15 minutes at 425°F, then reduce to 375°F until the juices run clear – just under 20 minutes per pound of chicken.
• Let the chicken cool for 15 to 20 minutes before carving.
You won't believe how juicy our chicken is, even after running around in the grass like an Easter bunny!