Ham Braised in Red Wine

Ham Braised in Red Wine, with its delicate sauce, makes a very special dinner party dish. Serve it with fluffy rice and a mixed green salad.2 ham, about 6 to 7 lb., scrubbed, soaked in cold water overnight and drained 12 fl. oz. red wine bouquet garni, consisting of 4 parsley sprigs, 1 thyme spray and 1 bay leaf tied together 6 fl. oz. chicken stock 12 oz. beurre manie

Place the ham in a large saucepan and half-fill it with cold water. 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. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the ham to cool in the cooking liquid.

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. Trim the fat to J inch thickness. Discard the skin and fat trimmings and the cooking liquid.

Place the ham, fat side up, in a large shallow roasting tin. Pour in 8 fluid ounces of the wine. Add the bouquet garni.

Place the tin in the oven and bake the ham for about 1 hour, or allowing minutes to the pound plus 10 minutes over. Baste the ham occasionally with the cooking liquid.

Remove the roasting tin from the oven and transfer the ham to a large serving dish. Keep it warm while you make the sauce.

Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the juices in the roasting tin. Stir in the remaining wine and the stock. Place the pan over high heat and bring the liquid to the boil. Using a wooden spoon, scrape in any brown bits clinging to the sides of the pan. Boil the liquid for 3 minutes.

Remove the tin from the heat and strain the sauce into a small saucepan. Taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary.

Place the saucepan over moderate heat and, with a wooden spoon, stir in the beurre manie, a small piece at a time.

Continue cooking, stirring constantly, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the sauce is thick and smooth. Reduce the heat to low and keep the sauce warm while you carve the ham.

Carve the ham in -inch thick slices and arrange them on a large serving dish. Pour a little of the sauce over the slices and serve the rest separately in a warmed sauceboat.

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