Cooking a ham for Easter?

We've gone into the archives to get Frank Davis' classic recipe - don't forget the Barq's!

1 fresh pork picnic ham (6 -8 lb. average)
3 Tbsp. Frank Davis Pork Seasoning
2 tsp. garlic powder
2/3 cup dark brown sugar
3/4 stick butter
1/2 cup clover honey
1/2 cup Barq's Root Beer
1 small can frozen pineapple juice
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 Tbsp. paprika
10 whole peppercorns
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1/4 cup Hoisin sauce
1/4 cup cherry juice
25 whole cloves
5 pineapple slices
6 whole maraschino cherries

First, place the ham on the countertop on a large sheet of waxed paper.

Then with a very sharp knife, carefully trim away all the excess fat (but leave the 'top cap' in place to self-baste the pork as it cooks).

Now liberally sprinkle the meat all over with the pork seasoning and the garlic powder and rub them both in really hard with your hands.

When completely coated, place the ham on a trivet in a large cast iron Dutch oven, cover tightly with the lid, and slide the pot into a preheated oven at 325 degrees.

Meanwhile, in a 12-inch skillet or 3-quart saucepan melt the butter over medium heat, add the brown sugar, and cook it gently until it dissolves.

Then over medium high heat whisk in the honey, root beer, frozen pineapple juice, ginger, mustard, paprika , peppercorns, red wine vinegar, Hoisin sauce, cherry juice and whole cloves. Simmer the sauce, stirring constantly, until all of the ingredients have become blended and smooth. Ideally, this mixture should result in a semi-thick sauce, which will eventually become your ham glaze.

After about a 25 percent reduction in volume, remove the sauce from the fire and set it aside to cool.

When the ham is almost done (you can be sure it's cooked when the internal temperature reaches 155 degrees), take it from the oven and generously spoon the basting glaze over it.

Then return it to the oven and continue to bake it uncovered for about 30 minutes more until the marinade sticks to the ham and forms a shiny crust. You might want to baste it several times during the last 30 minutes of cooking so that you use the entire glaze.

When fully cooked, remove the ham from the oven and allow it to set for about 15 minutes on the countertop before slicing. Serve it with generous ladles-full of the natural drippings.

Chef's Notes:

1 One of the best trivets you can use inside of a Dutch oven when cooking a ham or a roast is one of the small steamer baskets found on the kitchen utensil shelves in the grocery stores.

Simply open it up, place it in the center of the pot, and rest the meat in it. The holes allow the meat juices to drain through to the bottom of the pot.

2 If you want to dress the ham, you can decorate it with slices of pineapple and cherries. Simply place the pineapple rings on the ham and hold them in position with toothpicks. Then place whole maraschino cherries in the centers of the pineapple slices, push four cloves into each pineapple slice, and one clove in each cherry.

3 Some of the original glaze can be reserved and then lightly drizzled over the ham after it's sliced for a sweeter sauce topping.

4 Hoisin sauce can be found in the Oriental section of the grocery store. It is a lightly sweetened, brown, fruity sauce which is used to spice up meats and poultry.

Accompanying Dishes:

Twice Roasted Potato Casserole--Boiled red potatoes, tossed with a blend of Muenster, white cheddar, Colby, and Monterey Jack cheeses, topped with sour cream and salt and pepper, and flash baked.

Fresh Green Beans with Brie Sauce--Blanched fresh green beans, sprinkled with Frank Davis Vegetable Seasoning pan-tossed with butter and softened Brie cheese.

Easter Sunrise Salad Sliced ripe tomatoes, topped with sliced hardboiled eggs, crowned with fresh steamed asparagus and broccoli spears, and dressed with Italian olive salad.