A cut of pork that technically comes from the thigh, ham is often pickled in brine then dried and smoked. The same method of preparation can be used with a pork shoulder. Boiling ham retains the flavour from the curing process and reduces shrinkage of the meat.
Place the ham in a large pot so it fits snug against the sides of the pot.
Cover the ham with the apple juice, topping off with water until completely submersed.
Add the bay leaves and bring the liquid to a boil over high heat.
Turn the heat down to maintain a simmer. Skim off any foam that develops with the ladle.
Cover the pot tightly with a lid and allow it to simmer for 25 minutes per pound of meat.
Check the ham with a temperature probe; it's done when it reaches a core temperature of 71.1 degrees Celsius or the meat falls off the bone.
Put the lid back on the pot and allow the ham to cool in the cooking liquid for several hours or until it reaches room temperature.
Remove the ham from the liquid and cut away the rind and some of the fat. Keep about 2 inches of fat to enhance the flavour of the meat.
Look for a plump joint with a reasonably thick layer of fat beneath the rind. It is best cooked on the bone for maximum flavour. Wedge the ham in the pot so it cannot float during cooking.
Tips and warnings
- Look for a plump joint with a reasonably thick layer of fat beneath the rind. It is best cooked on the bone for maximum flavour.
- Wedge the ham in the pot so it cannot float during cooking.