I went to bed at 10pm on New Year's Eve and woke up this morning at 6am so I could prepare THE HAM. And, yes, of course we are having black-eyed peas! Hoppin' John Stew. Ham stock base, Cajun seasoning, beans and rice. This is my favorite way to have black eyed peas except for the Texas Caviar mentioned by my Aunt Jennifer. I was going to make that too and forgot! Oh well.
This is the 17lb, skin on, fresh ham prior to cutting my beautiful, meditative diamond pattern.
This is after an hour of cutting with a serrated knife through the skin and fat, being careful not to cut into the meat. Does it look like it would be hard? Well, I hope so because it was a big fucking pain in the ass. I almost gave up half way through, chucked my $30 in the trash and called it a lesson learned. But, I didn't. I think I can, however, say with 100% certainty that I will never make a 17lb fresh ham again. If it's really good I might make a smaller one . . .
I put the ham in a brine of salt, brown sugar, garlic, bay leaves, and black peppercorns around 2pm yesterday and retrieved it at 6am this morning. It is now sitting for an hour at room temperature before I apply the Garlic and Herb Rub and then pop that motherfucker in the oven.