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Rex’s Recipes: Roasted Fresh Ham for a Crowd… with a Little Help from Louie at the Chester Meat Market in Chester, New Jersey

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As my loyal Roxiticus Desperate Housewives and Roxy’s Best Of… readers know, our family always celebrates the holidays twice… one Christmas at my mom’s house, and one Christmas Saturday with Rex’s family gathered here with us in the Roxiticus Valley. Yesterday Rex’s family joined us to celebrate Christmas with a “roasted fresh ham for a crowd” of fifteen guests. Rex found the recipe by Matt Lee and Ted Lee in the New York Times back in April 2006.  If you’re looking for a great holiday meal for New Year’s Eve/Day, I’ve posted the recipe, along with before and after photos, and recommend that you call Louie at the Chester Meat Market right away to order your fresh ham for your upcoming feast.

Roasted Fresh Ham for a Crowd:


  • 1 16-to-18-pound fresh ham from Chester Meat Market
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme (from 14 to 16 stems)
  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup half-and-half

To Make the Fresh Ham (Pork Roast):

  1. Place a rack in lower third of oven and preheat to 425 degrees.  Trim skin and excess fat from ham, leaving a layer of fat.  Score ham all over in a diamond pattern of 1/2-inch-deep cuts about 1 1/2 inches apart.
  2. In a small bowl, combine salt, pepper and thyme, pinching and sifting mixture until thyme becomes fragrant.  Pat mixture all over ham and into crevices.
  3. Place ham fat-side up on a rack in a large roasting pan and roast uncovered for half an hour.  Turn heat down to 350 degrees, pour 2 cups wine and 1/2 cup water into pan and loosely tent with aluminum foil.  Continue to roast, basting every hour.  Add water to pan, if necessary, to keep pan juices from scorching; bake until a meat thermometer pressed into thickest part of ham reads 155 degrees, about 3 1/2 hours.
  4. Let ham stand 15 to 20 minutes before carving.  Pour pan juices and remaining 2 tablespoons wine into a small saucepan and simmer about 2 minutes.  Turn off flame, add half-and-half, and serve with ham.

Yield:  12 to 14 servings.

If you’re lucky enough to live in Chester, New Jersey, or the greater Roxiticus Valley (Mendham, Bernardsville, Far Hills, Randolph, Chester, Somerset or Morris County), you can count on Louie at the Chester Meat Market for your fresh ham. Chester Meat Market is located at 27 West Main Street, Chester, NJ. Phone: (908) 879-7523. Please don’t forget to tell Louie and the gang that Roxy sent you!

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