I have been saving a beautiful Ham for a very special occasion. I decided that this Easter dinner was the perfect occasion to serve it. When I had my pigs butchered, I made sure the butcher reserved a whole pork butt to cure into a Ham. Many people serve Ham to their guests for Easter or Christmas, but not everyone can serve a home grown, whole ham. I’m not trying to be boastful, but I really do find immense pleasure in serving something that I know has required much thought and a multitude of work.
Ham is a cured pork butt roast. The curing agents applied during the smoking/curing procedure are further oxidized chemically, and the byproduct gives the meat a beautiful pink hue. That is the reason Corned Beef, Salami and Ham have a pink color. Oxidation.
This year, my family celebrated this immensely important holiday with close family friends. Too often, it becomes inconvenient to connect with those that we do not work with or see without intention. It was great to reconnect and share a moment with people that share a common History.
The Ham I served was never touched with any sort of seasoning while baking, but only a layer of local Honey in the last Half hour of baking. The Smoking/Curing added all of the flavor. I served a medley of Blanched Spring Vegetables with a Lemon Vinaigrette, Hasselback Potatoes with Parmesan Cheese, Ginger Roasted Carrots and a Rhubarb Cake with a Lemon Butter Sauce for Dessert.
For this Rhubarb cake:
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup + 1 tablespoon of sugar
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 cup of 2% milk
3 tablespoons of melted butter
1 cup of chopped rhubarb
1 teaspoon of cinnamon (I threw in a little bit of cardamom as well)
1 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of butter
3/4 cup of whipping cream
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
Prepare 9 X 9 baking dish. Combine 1 cup of sugar with baking powder salt in a mixing bowl. Add milk, butter and whisk until smooth. Add rhubarb and pour in to the prepared pan. Combine remaining sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle on top. Bake at 375 for 30-40 minutes. Obviously, you will need to pre heat the oven.
For the sauce (which really is the hallmark of the dessert), combine the sugar, butter, whipping cream and boil over a medium high heat. Reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for 5 minutes. Now, stir in the lemon juice. It is best served warm, but you can make it in advance if you in a crunch and re heat.
Garnish with lemon zest.
To celebrate an occasion is an event, however we must not neglect to remember the reason to celebrate. He has risen. That is the reason we make a special Ham, invite our closest friends and celebrate for the weekend…