Versatile Sweet & Spicy Roasted Ham

We don't typically see or even think of ham in it's fresh form. It's often cured, salted or smoked, sliced and served for breakfast or over the holidays. When roasted, fresh ham cooks up and tastes like pork loin and can yield crispy skin like pork belly. It's the best of both worlds. 

We often seek out Saddleberk Pork, available in most area Kroger stores and sourced from Berkshire pigs raised in Ohio. Hams range in size, so pick one based on your occasion, meal or group. The recipe below is intentionally open-ended. It allows for available ingredients but maintains balanced flavor. 


Small ham // We used a 3-lb ham for the increments listed, so increase as needed.
1/2 cup sweet // We used brown sugar, but maple syrup, honey or granulated sugar also work.
1/3 cup vinegar // We used balsamic but any will add the right tang.
3/4 cup fruit juice or cooking liquid // We used the juice of one orange + apple juice, but apple cider, beer or other fruit juice will do the trick.
Combined 1 tablespoon warm spices // These spices might include cumin, coriander, pepper or even a little nutmeg. We used cinnamon, cayenne and rep pepper flakes. Consider something with a little heat.
Salt & Pepper


Preheat an oven to 425 degrees.

Score the fat side of the ham, cutting as lightly into the actual meat as possible. Season it on all sides with salt and pepper and place in a roasting pan.

Roasted the ham in a 425 degree oven, fat side up, for 20 minutes. 

While ham is roasting, combine all other ingredients in a bowl and whisk. 

Remove ham from oven and decrease temperature to 225 degrees.

Pour half the basting mixture over the ham and return to oven. 

Every 20 minutes, baste the ham using a spoon to maintain moisture and consistent flavor. 

After 40 minutes, add the additional basting liquid. 

Begin checking the internal temperature of the ham after 60-80 minutes. The center of the ham should reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees. 

Once a temperate of 145 degrees is reached, remove the ham from the oven, cover loosely in foil and allow to rest for 20-30 minutes. In this time the internal temperature will continue to increase and juices will be redistributed throughout. 

Reduce the remaining basting liquid (bringing to boil then simmering for 5-8 minutes) for a sauce to drizzle over the ham. 

Slice and enjoy.