IRISH COUNTRY HAM 1 large Virginia style or slow cured country smoked ham 1 cup sugar a dozen whole cloves (spice) 3 cloves garlic 3-4 bay leaves 2 large onions
A good ham shouldn't be boiled, but rather, simmered in water just under the boiling point. Soak the ham in enough water to cover for 2-3 hours in a cool place, drain and scrub well.
Cover with fresh, cold water in a large pot, add sugar, bay leaves, whole spice cloves and whole garlic cloves and onions. Insert a meat thermometer in the part of the ham that is uppermost so that the thermometer will remain above the surface of the water. Thermometer should read 170°F throughout the cooking.
Simmer, do not boil for 18-20 minutes per pound (about 5 hours for a 15 pound ham).
When ham is done, allow to cool slightly in the cooking water, then remove and peel off the skin.
Score the fat in a diamond pattern using a sharp knife. Sprinkle the surface of the fat with brown sugar. For a decorative effect, stick a clove into the center of each diamond.
Bake the ham for 15-20 minutes in a preheated 375°F oven, or just until the sugar has melted somewhat. Be careful not to allow the sugar to burn.