Alton Brown's City Ham

Recipe by SharleneW
READY IN: 5hrs 30mins
SERVES: 10-15




  • Heat oven to 250 degrees F.
  • Remove ham from bag, rinse and drain thoroughly.
  • Place ham, cut side down, in a roasting pan.
  • Using a small paring knife or clean utility knife set to the smallest blade setting, score the ham from bottom to top, spiraling clockwise as you cut.
  • (If you are using a paring knife, be careful to only cut through the skin and first few layers of fat).
  • Rotate the ham after each cut so that the scores are no more than 2-inches across.
  • Once you have made it all the way around, move the knife to the other hand and repeat, spiraling counter clockwise.
  • The aim is to create a diamond pattern all over the ham.
  • (Don't worry too much about precision here.) Tent the ham with heave duty foil, insert a thermometer, and cook for 3 to 4 hours or until the internal temperature at the deepest part of the meat registers 130 degrees F.
  • Remove and use tongs to pull away the diamonds of skin and any sheets of fat that come off with them.
  • Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Dab dry with paper towels, then brush on a liberal coat of mustard, using either a basting brush or a clean point brush (clean--as in never-touched paint).
  • Sprinkle on brown sugar, packing loosely as you go until the ham is coated.
  • Spritz this layer lightly with bourbon, then loosely pack on as much of the crushed cookies as you can. NOTE: A small empty spray bottle from the drug store is perfect.
  • Insert the thermometer (don't use the old hole) and return to the oven (uncovered).
  • Cook until interior temperature reaches 140 degrees F, approximately 1 hour.
  • Let the roast rest for 1/2 hour before carving.