AUBURN UNIVERSITY, Ala. – Ham is a holiday favorite that comes in several varieties. You can find cured, smoked, country-style, roasted and fresh hams at most grocery stores.
For a delightful dinner offering, serve your guests a fresh ham roast. Fresh ham is one of the leanest pork cuts. It makes a juicy and wonderful roast whether baked conventionally or cooked on the grill.
“For most of us, the word ham conjures up the briny, smoky flavor of traditionally cured pork legs but fresh hams are not treated with salt and sugar cures,” says Christina Levert, a regional agent in human nutrition, diet and health with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System.
Many fresh hams at the grocery store are boneless and wrapped in a mesh-like netting. Boneless hams make carving a breeze. The net holds the meat firmly in place and helps assure a uniform shape during cooking. These hams range in size from 3 pounds to 10 pounds. Always cook the fresh pork to an internal temperature of 160 degrees F.
“Fresh ham offers fewer than 200 calories per 3-ounce serving,” Levert said. “Rich in protein, B-vitamins and essential minerals, it is a meat with great taste and a good nutrient profile.”
The flavor of roasted fresh ham is easy to savor in its own right, but it also welcomes all sorts of seasonings from sweet to savory. Whether bathed in a fruit-spiked glaze or lit with savory herbs, fresh ham is great for special meals.