GARLIC SMOKED FRESH HAM
1 fresh ham, 14-16 lb, bone-in
4 large cloves of garlic, minced
8 large, fresh basil leaves, whole
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Salt to taste
Remove shank at joint, and bone ham. Peel off skin, trim fat to a 1/2″ layer and soak in brine for 24 hours. Wipe dry, but do not rinse.
Lay ham on work surface fat side down. Press minced garlic evenly into meat. Sprinkle on Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Lay basil leaves flat on the meat. Fold ham closed and tie 4 or 5 times around the ham with butcher’s twine. Tie once from end to end. The ham should now be in nearly its original shape.
Smoke-cook at 225°F for 5 to 6 hours, depending on size. Remove from smoker, wrap in heavy duty foil, and let rest for 30 minutes before cutting strings and slicing.
Cut through center of ham, and then back toward each end for beautiful, round slices. Yield: Serves 16 as an appetizer or 8 for a main course.
Recommended Wood: Hickory or Mesquite