With the Christmas season upon us, the meat section in our local Daglivs is stocked full of Julskinka (Christmas ham). I have never made a Christmas ham from scratch; actually, David and I have never made roast ham for any of our Christmases together. But as the Julskinka seems like such the typical Swedish meat for the season, we were both curious to try it… now. And so we bough a lovely organic, fresh, salt-cured harm looked lovely to cook for a Sunday “roast.”
The Julskinka packaging explains the traditional method of roasting the ham. Sadly, I could only decipher bits and pieces, not enough fill me with confidence to know what I was doing. So we took a photo of the instructions on the package and sent it to our Swedish colleague, who kindly translated them for us. The actual cooking of the ham is quite easy, although it takes a couple of hours. A cooking thermometer is definitely needed, and I picked up an electronic one at a local hardware store.
Preheat the oven to 175C (or 350F).
Rinse the pork under water — the pork is salted-cured, so it’s important to rinse thoroughly.
Pat dry, and cover in foil.
Place in the lower part of the oven with a cooking thermometer in the meat. Roast until the internal temperature reads 73-75C (or about 165/167 F).
Take the ham out of the oven. (*Do not turn off the oven, as the ham will go back into it.) Cut away the netting, and remove the fat.
Make the mustard coating: mix one egg yolk and 3 tablespoons of wholegrain mustard.
Cover the ham with the mustard mixture. Typically, breadcrumbs are added all over the mustard coating — I sprinkled fresh thyme instead.
Raise the oven temperature to 200C (or about 390F). Put the ham back in the oven and roast until it browns, about 15 minutes.
Rest for 5-10 minutes. Slice thinly and serve!
For dinner, we had slices of ham alongside some broccoli and mushrooms. The ham has a salty quality, so it’s good to pair with non-salty vegetables. Although we bought a “small-ish” Julskinska, it’s still A LOT of ham for 2 people. But the ham is great cold — in fact our Swedish colleague explains that it is best the day after on some bread with some mustard. The bread we don’t do, of course, but the ham has served us well, providing us all week as a quick, ready source of protein at home. Whether for snacks (on its own or with slices of cucumber or avocado) or with scrambled eggs for breakfast, the Julskinka is a nice, holiday meat to try at home.
P.S. The next time I make this, I think I may add some sweetness to the mustard coating by adding honey…