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How to Cook an Easter Ham Like a Boss Butcher

Erika Nakamura, left, and wife Amelia Posada, right, pose with pig legs in their butcher shop (Photo courtesy of Jennifer May)
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All of this holiday cooking business can be a bit stressful -- especially if you haven't quite honed your holiday ham-making skills. But here with some help on how to cook your Easter spread is Erika Nakamura, the co-owner of Lindy & Grundy, a sustainable butcher shop in West Hollywood. Nakamura has made her rounds at the national Cochon 555 competitions, and who came up through the ranks at Fleisher's in New York, so it's safe to say the girl has a way with pork.

The most important part of making a successful meal, of course, is to get good quality meat. And if you're ordering from your local butcher, make sure you do so ahead of time. Like, right now. Now now.

Secondly, you've got to plan ahead. Thankfully Nakamura has offered up two unique (and very simple) glaze recipes to adorn your holiday ham, and a method for baking it up. Here's how it's done:

Spicy maple glaze

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1 tbsp hot sauce of your choice
1 cup maple syrup
½ cup whole-grain mustard

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk together til incorporated.

Traditional honey glaze


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1 cup brown sugar
½ cup honey
¼ cup reserved ham fat

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk together til incorporated.

For the ham itself, you'll need to follow these basic steps.

1. Set your oven to 300-325 degrees.

2. Cover your ham with foil and place it in the oven and cook for 20-30 minutes per pound.

3. When the ham reaches the internal temperature of 100-110 degrees, uncover it, remove the skin and score the fat.

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4. Turn up the oven temperature to 425 degrees, generously glaze your ham, and allow the fat to brown. You should continue glazing throughout this process.

5. Remove the ham from the oven when it reaches the internal temperature of 135-140, and allow it to rest for at least 30 minutes. This ensures that the juices are locked in before carving.

6. Carve and enjoy.


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