Cherry Glazed Picnic Shoulder
Q: When is a ham, not a ham?
A: When it is a cured picnic shoulder.
This recipe appeared in Prairies North Magazine in the Spring issue of 2018. It was my first Eats and Treats column and I receive requests for it often.
Go shopping for a cured picnic shoulder. You can search for a regional producer or buy a familiar brand at your favourite supermarket. You will find the words cook and serve in tiny writing on the label. A cured picnic shoulder requires cooking, as opposed to just heating. Make sure you have, in stock, the ingredients to make the glaze. You will need brandy, brown sugar, and a small jar of maraschino cherries.
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a roasting pan or a 9” by 13” cake pan with foil. Unwrap the meat, and if it is also wrapped in netting, remove that too. Wipe away the excess moisture with a paper towel. Place the roast, rind side up, in the foil-lined pan, but do not add water, and do not cover. Place the roaster in the oven and bake the cured picnic shoulder for 30 minutes a pound or until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 160°F.
When the roast is cooked, remove it from the oven, and let it rest for about 15 minutes. Using a sharp knife, gently remove the rind from the meat and score the fat into diamond shapes, about ¼ of an inch deep.
¾ cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons brandy; I prefer D’eaubonne V.S.O.P. 5 Star
1 - 250 ml jar maraschino cherries
Mix the brandy with the brown sugar in a small bowl and spread the mixture onto the picnic shoulder.
Gently drizzle cherry juice over the surface of the meat, trying not to wash away the sugar mixture. Place cherries in the crosscuts you have made in the fat of the roast.
Return the roaster to the oven and bake at 300°F for about 1 hour.
Cool the picnic shoulder for 20 minutes, then carve and serve or cover and refrigerate to serve the next day. Once you slice the meat, garnish the platter with cherries.
Carving a joint is always challenging because the grain isn't in one direction. Believe me, this roast is worth the effort. You will have some larger slices of meat, which can be served with a variety of sides or frozen between layers of plastic wrap. There are many uses for smaller pieces of meat. We freeze these bits in individual containers or baggies. This sweet meat is perfect for making sandwich melts or adding to pizza, pasta, omelettes, or soup.
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