Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Finnish Mustard & Baked Ham w/ Brown Sugar Bread Crumb Crust

When I was little, I didn't like mayonnaise.  It was mustard all the way.  Everyday in my lunch I had a bologna and cheese sandwich with mustard and Doritos (for smooshing in the sandwich).  And yes, it was by choice.  I requested it.  Now, as I got older, I learned to like mayonnaise and for a few years, I even abandoned mustard for the most part.  I'm not sure what was happening with me then, but one day I must have decided it was time to get back to the good stuff...cuz it's mustard all the way for me again.  The great thing about mustard is that there are so many varieties.  And I can find an occasion for all of them.  When I went to Michigan State, we had this awesome bagel place called Bagel Fragel.  The days when I had class fairly close to Grand River, I'd run across the street between classes and get the same sandwich.  Every time.  Do you sense a trend...when I find something I like, I hold on to it tight.  Anyhoo... It was an everything bagel with smoked turkey and swiss.  They'd run it through the toasting oven and then slather on a healthy dose of Honeycup Mustard...which is sharp and hot and sweet underneath...and so flippin' good.  I haven't forgotten that sandwich and it's been at least 15 years since the last time I had one.

So.  Mustard.  I saw Sue make this last week.  And then I saw Kim post it the same day that I actually made it.  It's like a  trend...and a fabulous one...that I couldn't help but grabbing on to!  I tried figuring out what made it "Finnish", but to no avail, really.  Origins in Finland is my guess, but...?  I love the smooth, creaminess imparted from using heavy cream.  It's also slightly sweet against the hot twang of the mustard powder.  I imagine it would be just as delicious if you used a mild mustard powder.  I decided to double the batch so that I could make a ham with it and have extra left over for slathering on the ham when I stuck it in a sandwich, or for eating with salami or sausage, and probably most of all for using with my favorite late-night snack: pretzels dipped in mustard.  Oh yeah.  That's become a Wednesday night ritual for me.  Watching one of my newest guilty pleasures, Revenge whilst dipping crunchy pretzels into mustard.  Good stuff, baby.  Good stuff.
Finnish Mustard
yield: ~2-2½ c.

⅔ c. Hot Mustard Powder
1 c. Superfine Sugar
2 tsp. Sea Salt
2 c. Heavy Cream
2 Tbs. Olive Oil
¼ c. unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar
juice of a lemon

Whisk together the mustard powder, sugar, and salt in a small bowl to combine and get rid of any lumps.

Place in a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan with remaining ingredients.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a slow, steady simmer until the color has become darker and the liquid has thickened, stirring often.  This should take about 10-15 minutes.  

Let it cool a bit, stirring from time to time.  Pour into sterilized glass jars (shorter w/ a wider mouth makes it easier when it comes time to  use it).  Refrigerate.

Baked Ham with Mustard & Brown Sugar Bread Crumbs
serves: 8

6-7 lb. Smoked Ham, bone-in
½ c. Panko Bread crumbs
¼ c. brown sugar, firmly packed
~1⅓ c. Finnish Mustard
handful of whole cloves

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Place ham, "cut" side down in a roasting pan.  Slather the outside with the mustard.  Combine bread crumbs and brown sugar, smooshing it all together well.  Coat the ham with the brown sugar-bread crumb mixture, pushing with your hands to help the mustard hold it on.   Push as many cloves in as you would like, forming diamond-like patterns.

Slide into preheated oven and bake for about 1½ hours. 

Turn heat up to 400° F.  Bake for another 30-45 minutes, or until the outside looks golden and crusty.  Let cool before slicing.  Serve with more Finnish Mustard.  Awesome with some tangy sourdough bread, as well.

both recipes adapted from: Falling Cloudberries by Tessa Kiros
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