A quick one from our St. Patrick’s day dinner- The ham ends up with a wonderful sort of light floral flavor and scent, and made a nice contrast to the hearty beer braised beef stew we had also! Instead of a full leg we used a fresh shank (bone in) – not bad because it fits into the smaller pot, and you can serve it over some mashed potatoes, turnips or parsnips (or colcannon).
First soak the clean defrosted leg, boiling ham or shank in a brine. Set a big kettle of water on to boil. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Gather up your other ingredients: some clean hay (enough to line your pot and cover the ham when wetted down), a generous bunch of bay leaves, whole peppercorns, and a spoonful of whole allspice, salt, few whole cloves of garlic and I also added some juniper berries
Use a pot that can roast in your oven, preferably with a well fitting lid. Wet the hay down and line the bottom of the pot to about 2 inches thick, then add in a mat of bay leaves and scatter half of the other whole spices. Put in the ham, then cover again with bay leaves, spices and wet hay. Pour boiling water over everything to submerge it. Make sure there aren’t any bits of hay poking up & cover with the lid or tinfoil. Bake in the oven 3 to 5 hours depending on the size of your ham.
Carve the ham in thin slices, wet down with some of the hay ‘juice’ if you like. Serve over a mashed root vegetable base like colcannon.