Turn to the pig pros at the National Pork Board to discover the perfect formula for an Easter entrée that’s every bit as photogenic as it is succulent. Serve this roast ham with herbs and spring vegetables like new potatoes steamed in their skins, and tossed with chives and butter. Toss in some tender glazed baby carrots and you’ve got a classic spread that won’t disappoint.
Make the most of spring’s garden bounty with a creamy, savory asparagus sauce that complements the ham’s salty, smoky notes, and looks beautiful on the plate.
- 1 6 to 8 pound fully-cooked, bone-in ham
- 1 750-mL bottle white wine, such as pinot grigio (or use apple juice)
- 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup shallots plus 1/3 cup shallots, finely chopped and divided
- 4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
- 3 tablespoons whole grain mustard
- 2 tablespoons fresh tarragon, coarsely chopped (or 2 teaspoons dried) and 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh tarragon, minced (or 3/4 teaspoon dried)
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, coarsely chopped plus 2 teaspoons fresh parsley, minced
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
Creamy Asparagus sauce
- 1 1/2 pounds asparagus, woody stems trimmed off and discarded
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup flour
- 2 1/3 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- Salt and freshly ground white or black pepper
- A few gratings fresh nutmeg
- 2 large oven roaster bags
For the ham
Score a diamond pattern into the ham, about 1/3 inch deep. Place the ham, flat side down, in a large oven roasting bag. In a large bowl, whisk wine, oil, sliced shallots, garlic, mustard, coarsely chopped tarragon and parsley, and peppercorns together to combine. Pour into the bag and close securely with a rubber band. Insert the bag with the ham into the second bag and twist the bag closed. Place in a large bowl. Refrigerate, turning occasionally, for at least 12 and up to 18 hours.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Position the rack in the lower third of the oven.
Line the bottom of a shallow roasting pan with aluminum foil.
Remove ham from bags; discard marinade. Place the ham, flat side down, in the pan. Roast until the internal temperature reaches 140 degrees F, 15 to 18 minutes per pound total cooking time. Remove ham from oven, transfer to a cutting board, and let rest 10 minutes.
For the sauce
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add asparagus and cook just until tender but still bright green, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain in a colander, rinse under cold running water, and drain again. Set the asparagus aside.
In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add finely chopped shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle in flour, stir well, and let bubble without browning for 1 minute. Gradually stir in broth and cream, and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring often until lightly thickened, about 10 minutes.
In two batches, using a blender with the lid ajar, purée asparagus with about 1 cup of the shallot sauce. Stir the purée back into the saucepan, and then stir in minced tarragon and parsley. Then season to taste with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Cover and keep sauce warm over low heat. (The sauce can be cooled, covered, and refrigerated for up to 2 days. Reheat in a saucepan or microwave oven before serving.)
Slice ham and serve with sauce.