Maple Ham with Caramelized Onion
- prep time 20 min
- total time 395 min
- serves 8
1 smoked pork shoulder (picnic ham), about 3.6 kg (8 lb)
2 onions, peeled and halved horizontally
2 cloves cloves garlic, peeled and halved
1 ½ cups maple syrup
10 red potatoes, peeled
3 tablespoons butter, softened
3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1 pinch Pepper
1. Using a knife, trim the rind and any excess fat off the pork shoulder. Place the shoulder in a large Dutch oven and add cold water to cover. Bring to a boil and simmer over medium heat and discard the water (this will reduce the saltiness of the ham). After draining, cover the ham with more cold water and repeat the process, simmering over a low heat for 30 minutes. Discard the water from the second simmering and replace with more fresh, cold water.
2. Meanwhile, lightly oil a cast-iron skillet. Place the onions in the skillet, cut side down. Press a clove into each onion half. Brown slowly over low heat until the onions are fully caramelized. Add the onions and garlic to the pot with the pork. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer gently until the meat is fork-tender, about 4 hours, turning the ham halfway through. Drain, reserving about 1.25 litres (5 cups) of the cooking juices for the potatoes.
3. Place the reserved cooking juices, the maple syrup and the potatoes back in the pot with the ham. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 35 minutes depending on their size. Remove the ham and potatoes from the pot and place in a serving dish. Spoon some of the sauce from the pot over the ham and potatoes, wrap with foil, and place in an oven heated to 200 degrees F to keep it warm.
4. In a bowl, combine the butter and the flour.
5. Bring the reserved cooking juices to a boil. Whisk in the butter and flour mixture. Simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Season with pepper. Serve the ham with the maple sauce. Note: Set aside the remaining cooking juices for pea soup.