Ham Baked with Sauerkraut

A delicious combination of tastes, Ham Baked with Sauerkraut makes a sustaining dinner party meal. Serve with crusty bread and a light salad. A well-chilled white wine, such as an Alsatian Tratniner, would go beautifully with this dish.

6-8

2 ham, about

6 to

7 lb., scrubbed, soaked in cold water overnight and drained

6 peppercorns

12 juniper berries (optional) 5 tablespoons vegetable oil medium-sized onions, thinly sliced medium-sized carrots, scraped and thinly sliced garlic clove, crushed

1 lb. bottled or canned sauerkraut, drained

10 fl. oz. dry white wine

10 fl. oz. chicken stock

1 tablespoon butter, cut into small pieces

Place the ham in a large saucepan and half fill it with cold water. Add the peppercorns and juniper berries, if you are using them. Place the pan over moderately high heat and bring the water to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the ham for about 2 hours, or allowing 20 minutes to the pound plus 20 minutes over. Add more boiling water when necessary.

Remove the pan from the heat and allow the ham to cool in the cooking liquid.

In a large saucepan, heat the oil over moderate heat. When the oil is hot, add the onions, carrots and garlic and cook them, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the onions are soft and translucent but not brown. Stir in the sauerkraut, then pour in the wine and stock. Increase the heat to moderately high and bring the liquid to the boil. Remove the pan from the heat.

Preheat the oven to moderate 350 °F (Gas Mark 4, 180°C).

When the ham is cool, remove it from the cooking liquid and peel off the skin. Discard the ham skin and the cooking liquid.

Place the ham in a deep roasting tin and dot the butter on top. Spoon the sauerkraut mixture around the ham.

Place the roasting tin in the oven and bake the ham for about 1 hour, allowing 10 minutes to the pound, plus 10 minutes over.

Remove the tin from the oven and transfer the ham to a large serving dish. Heap the sauerkraut around the ham and serve at once.

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