Add a new flavor profile to the traditional pineapple and brown sugar roasted ham by marinating the ham in jerk seasonings. Wrap the ham in banana leaves to help seal in the moisture before and while roasting. Serve with pineapple mojo to top off this Caribbean-inspired roast. The wet jerk recipe comes from my grandmother Johnson.
Mrs. Thompson's Wet Jerk (makes 4 cups)
- 8 large garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 large onions, coarsely chopped
- 6 scallions (white and tender green parts), coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, coarsely chopped
- 2 scotch bonnet chili peppers, seeded
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice fresh and zest of 1 lime
- 1/2 cup water
- ¼ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons allspice berries
- 4 sticks cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- ¼ cup soy sauce or browning liquid
- 1/2 cup canola oil or peanut oil
- Sea salt
- 3/4 cup orange juice
- 1/2 cup lime juice
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup honey
- 3 tablespoons cane sugar
- 2 tablespoons chopped oregano
- 5 cloves minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon chopped ginger
- Salt as needed
- 1 whole leg of ham with knuckle, 8-12 pounds, skin trimmed
- 4 large pieces banana leaf, destemmed
- 2 cups jerk seasoning (see recipe above)
For the jerk seasoning:
Combine all ingredients and place in a food processor. Pulse mixture to a smooth consistency and season with sea salt as needed. Store jerk spice in airtight container and keep refrigerated. Mixture can be stored for up to 2 months.
For the mojo:
Place all ingredients in bowl and whisk together. Refrigerate until needed.
For the ham:
1. Trim off any additional skin from ham, still leaving a good amount of fat on. With a sharp knife, score ham in crosshatch pattern trying not to cut into the flesh of the meat.
2. Rub ham with jerk seasoning, making sure that the marinate gets into all the nooks of the ham.
3. Line the roasting pan with overlapping banana leaves, leaving 8 to 10 inches overhanging the edges of the pan. You will be wrapping the leaves around the ham. Place the ham in the pot with all of its marinade. Swaddle the ham with the banana leaves and enclose it tightly. Cover with foil and refrigerate for 48 hours.
4. On day two, remove ham from refrigerator. Then let ham sit until it reaches room temperature. Preheat oven at 350°F.
5. Once ham has reached room temperature place in preheated oven and cook for 1 hour.
6. Remove from oven and take foil and banana leaf off. Then brush pineapple mojo on top of ham and continue to cook for another 30-40 minutes, basting every 8-10 minutes until golden brown and candied.