Very Sherry Virginia Ham

Very Sherry Virginia Ham

Recipe from the Thermador Taste of America Cookbook


The Virginia country ham tradition started when Captain Mallory Todd of Smithfield began dry-curing ham and bacon in 1779. Virginia hams are world-class and beloved on holiday tables throughout the world. Legend has it that Queen Victoria so adored Smithfield hams that she ordered six to be sent to her palace weekly. If you can get a dry-cured Virginia ham for this recipe, you should soak it in cold water overnight to get rid of the excess salt. You might want to change the water, depending on how salty the ham is. Mary Lou usually serves her ham with dressing patties made from cornbread, white bread, ham fat, herbs, and spices.

Submitted by:
Mary Lou Nester-Baumgardner


18 to 20 servings


1 12- to 14-pound fully cooked bone-in ham
3 cups sweet Sherry
2 tablespoons whole cloves
3 bay leaves
¾ cup fresh breadcrumbs made from white bread
½ cup (firmly packed) golden brown sugar
¼ cup Dijon mustard
¼ cup distilled white vinegar
Additional whole cloves
1 cup water


Preheat oven to 200°F. Place ham in heavy large
roasting pan. Combine Sherry, 2 tablespoons cloves,
and bay leaves and pour over ham. Cover with foil
and bake 3 hours, turning ham once.


Increase oven temperature to 400°F. Combine
breadcrumbs, brown sugar, mustard, and vinegar in
bowl; stir with wooden spoon until paste forms.
Spread paste over ham. Stud ham with additional
cloves. Pour 1 cup water into pan to prevent
burning. Bake ham uncovered until browned,
about 30 minutes. Slice ham thinly and serve with
defatted pan juices.


Serve with dry rosé or white wine, such as dry Riesling.