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Ham it up!

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Ok so it's the second week of January. Holy hell what happened? I kept up really good through Thanksgiving but lo and behold December, travel and holiday prep got the best of me on keeping up with my blog posting and to a degree my wods. It’s all good as I had a fabulous trip, a great holiday and rang in the New Year with food, festivities and am looking forward to 2015; goals are established and plans/strategies to achieve are in place.  Sometimes a short break can be productive.

A little late on the posting of our New Year’s day meal but I want to share nonetheless and it will make a great dinner for the upcoming football weekends.


When it comes to hams you can buy them smoked and pre cooked or you can buy a fresh ham. When I called Whole Foods to order ours they told me they had “no packaged hams” only “fresh hams”. I had never cooked a fresh ham before but why not. We ordered one and the hubby picked it up on New Year’s eve. I did have a slight bout of sticker shock.


It certainly was a pretty ham; bone in, nice and pinkish and covered with a healthy layer of fat promising a crispy outer skin.  To get started. . .

Score the ham in a diamond pattern. It’s not just for aesthetics; the delicious glaze will sink through the rind when the layer of fat is exposed.


Put the rub on the ham, wrap in plastic wrap and chill overnight. Let stand at room temp one hour prior to baking. Place the ham on a rack in a large roasting pan.


When an instant read thermometer register 145 degrees the ham is done.


Allow it to sit for 20 minutes before carving.

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I will admit I was a little nervous on cooking this ham; if I messed up a $53 piece of meat I was not going to be happy. Would it be tender without covering? Yes it was; I believe the layer of fat accomplished that. And I was afraid of over cooking it thus ending up with dry tough meat. The instant read thermometer solved that dilemma nicely. As soon as it registered 145 I took it out. And what you see here was nice tender, slightly pink fresh ham.

I still appreciate a good smoked ham which is what I remember growing up but the fresh ham has a taste all it’s own and well worth the time, money and effort. It won’t disappoint and I will make again.

We served with black eyed peas (soaked first), rice and fresh steamed Brussels sprouts. That’s our tradition for good luck in the coming year!

Enjoy and check out more Power Athlete friendly recipes on Paula Lean Primal Queen!

Recipe & Ingredients

1, 7-10 pound pastured fresh ham, bone in preferred
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons paprika
1 1/4 teaspoons sea salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/3 cup Grade B maple syrup
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons grass fed butter, melted


Score the outside of the ham in a diamond pattern. Combine the spices in a small bowl and mix well. Rub the ham with the spice mixture, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

When ready to cook remove the ham from the refrigerator and allow to stand at room temperature 1 hour before baking.Preheat oven to 425. Place the ham fat side up on the rack of a roasting pan.

Bake for 30 minutes and immediately reduce temperature to 325. Bake for 1 1/2 hours longer.

Just to see where it’s at check the temperature with an instant read thermometer. It should be somewhere between 100 and 115 degrees. If it’s not, put back in the oven and check in around another 20 minutes or so.

Combine maple syrup, mustard and melted butter. Turn your ham over fat side down and baste with glaze. Cook for an additional hour basting with glaze every 20 minutes. Check the temperature again. You want to thermometer to register 145 degrees when inserted close to the bone. If it’s not there continue to cook checking every 15-20 minutes as to not over cook it. If it’s getting too brown tent with foil. When you get there, the ham is done. Remove from over and let stand 20 minutes before slicing.


Founder at Paula Lean
Level 1 CrossFit Instructor
CrossFit Kids certified
CrossFit Football certified

Paula has been personally and professionally involved in the fitness industry for over 17 years. Her competitive background includes obstacle course and fitness competitions. At 53 years young she believes fitness fuels your health and mental well being. It keeps you young and ages you gracefully as well as preventing the onset of age related diseases caused by a sedentary lifestyle and poor nutritional habits.

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