Russian Style Baked Fresh Ham (Buzhenina)

"To me, a fresh baked ham is the most delicious cut of the hog available. The Russians serve it with any festive occasion such as Easter with a Kasha and Mushroom Casserole, a Sauerkraut Salad Provencal and Honey-Marinated Pears. Most Russians do not eat a gravy as such, but if you wish, degrease the pan juices, thicken with about 1 1/2 tablespoons of flour, and add a bit of beef stock."
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Ready In:
3hrs 30mins




  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  • Using a sharp knife, score the skin of the ham in a diamond oattern.
  • Mix together the mustard, brown sugar, and salt and spread all over the ham.
  • Place the ham on a rack in a roasting pan, add the remaining ingredients, and roast, basting with the juices, until a meat thermometer reads 170 degrees F or the juices run clear when you insert a skewer into the thickest part of the roast, about 3 hours.
  • Let the roast stand, covered with foil. for 15 minutes.
  • Carve into thin slices and serve with gravy, if desired.

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  1. What a nice change from oversalted and nitrite-laced hams. DO NOT EXPECT it to taste like those hams. Don't even call it a "ham". It's more like a delicious huge pork loin. Here were my few adjustments to the original recipe: I brined the meat for 24 hours in an apple juice-based brine with a few bay leaves, garlic cloves and peppercorns. Gave the meat all the moistness in the world and a very nice, subtle flavor. I tented the meat as it cooked after about 15 minutes or all that beautiful glaze turns to charcoal. I am surprised it did not say that in the original recipe. I ended up using three bottles of beer and three cups of cider - each two cup combo added each hour as it evaporated or I would have had nothing left as a base for a pan gravy (that was fabulous!). As for the cooking time, boy, that needed adjusting. I took mine out of the oven after three hours and it was almost overdone. The thermometer read only 140. I was torn between serving the pork as it looked very done, and trusting the thermometer. I opted for my eye. The meat was delicious, very done, and actually almost overdone. had I not brined it, it would have been as dry as shoe leather, but the brining - as it always does - saved the day. I would say expect a 10 lb. fresh ham to be cooked in about 2 1/2 hours or so. Do check for doneness at the bone. The juices running clear are the best indicator. I did make a pan gravy with some of the basting liquid and a little cream. Yum. I would make this dish again, and the delicious pineapple casserole and kasha side dishes that the author suggests, but not the saurkraut salad provencal - it was horrible. Even I could not save it!
  2. I tried this recipe for Easter using a ten pound fresh ham. It was so delicious. Being a gravy lover, I removed most of the fat from the pan juices, then I added about a cup of beef broth to the strained brot., Mixed in about two tablespoons of corn starch, and return to stove top and reheated. Served with mashed potatoes.Also you can serve with any of your favorite vegetable.


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