• One 2 to 3-pound country ham
  • 1 to 1 1/2 quarts liquid (see note)
  • Brown sugar as needed

This recipe contains: Meat, Pork

Recipe notes: Bake the ham with 1 to 1 1/2 quarts liquid, either water seasoned with 1 1/2 cups wine vinegar, 1 bay leaf, and 1 teaspoon thyme, or pure apple cider seasoned with 2 cloves, 1 bay leaf, and 1 teaspoon thyme. Or, as Beard writes, "For festive occasions, I sometimes use a good California sherry or port, which gives the ham a remarkable flavor and finish. No seasonings; the wine has enough aromatics of its own."


Baked Country Ham

James Beard

Author and Educator

This deliciously simple dish comes from Beard’s 1974 book, Beard on Food.

Yield: 6 servings


Preheat oven to 350ºF.

To cook a country ham, put it in a roasting pan, fat-side down, and add chosen liquid mixture. Cover the pan completely with aluminum foil, crimping it around the edges to seal the ham airtight. Bake in oven allowing 20 to 25 minutes a pound. At the end of the cooking time, take off the foil, remove any skin, and brush the fat with sieved brown sugar (you can also use a mixture of equal quantities of brown sugar and bread crumbs), then put in a 450ºF to 500ºF oven for 10 minutes to glaze.