How Does One Roast a Fresh Ham?

Roast a fresh ham by trimming the skin and fat, scoring the surface of the meat, rubbing it with salt and pepper, and roasting it with liquid for up to four hours. Let the meat rest for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.

Start by trimming off excessive skin and fat so that there is only a thin layer left. Cut 1/2-inch scores into the skin over the entire surface of the ham in a diamond pattern, which allows the seasonings to soak into the meat. Mix 1 1/2 tablespoons of kosher salt, 1 tablespoon of freshly ground black pepper and 2 tablespoons of fresh thyme in a bowl. Rub the mixture over the entire ham, working it into the score marks. If you have the time, allow the ham to cure in the refrigerator for up to four days.

Place the ham in a roasting pan with the fatty side facing up, so that it bastes the meat as it cooks. Roast at 425 degrees Fahrenheit, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Add 2 cups of dry white wine, water or broth to the pan, and reduce heat to 350 degrees. Cover the ham with aluminum foil, and cook for three and one-half hours or until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 155 degrees. Baste the ham with the juices regularly during the cooking time.