Fresh Ham Steak with Mustard-Cider Glaze

As I’ve probably mentioned before, one fun thing about belonging to a CSA is you get to try cuts of meat (or vegetables) that you might not have otherwise picked up at the grocery store.  Part of our “Dig the Pig” share from Moonshine Meats is a large slab of fresh ham steak.  In this case, “ham” refers to the hind leg of a pig, not a chunk of cured pork.  The first time we cooked fresh ham, we tried to braise it – it was okay, but nothing to blog about.  That ham steak turned out more-or-less like a gigantimus pork chop, but less flavorful.  Aiming for more, we brined this month’s ham steak to turn it into something more like cured ham, but without the nitrates.

The addition of whole cloves and maple syrup to the brine infused the meat with a subtle sweetness – reminiscent of all those clove-studded baked hams you’ve eaten at Easter-time.  As the ham steak roasted, we basted it with a mustard-cider glaze to add more flavor and to help give the ham a beautiful color.  (The pink color of traditional ham comes from nitrates in the cure, so this ham is not pink.)

I roasted this in the oven, but it would be even better roasted or smoked on the grill!  There’s always next month when the next CSA share comes in!

Brine Ingredients: (I had a 3-pound ham steak; adjust amounts accordingly if you use a much larger piece of meat)

  • 1 fresh ham steak, uncured (brining time based on weight – you could do 2 pounds, or a whole ham)
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 8-10 whole cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • several grindings of black pepper

Bring brine ingredients to a simmer; make sure the salt is completely dissolved.  Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.

Place the ham steak in a large resealable bag.  Cover with the brine; squeeze the air out of the bag, seal, and refrigerate.  Keep in brine 24 hours for every 2 pounds of meat.

Preheat the oven to 375F.  Remove the ham steak from the brine, rinse with cold water, and dry with paper towels.  Place in a roasting pan on a rack.  Season with ground pepper. Deeply score the fat around the outside of the steak every 1-inch or so, to prevent the roast from curling as it cooks.

Roast at 375F for 18-20 minutes per pound.  During the last  ~30 minutes of the roasting time, baste the roast with the mustard-cider glaze (recipe below).  Flip the roast over, brush with glaze, and cook for 15 minutes.  Flip the roast over again, brush with glaze, and continue to cook until the roast is done (internal temperature around 140F).

Allow roast to rest, loosely covered with foil, for at least 10 minutes before serving.  Slice thinly across the grain to serve, and enjoy!

Mustard-Cider Glaze (amounts approximate):

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup apple cider (not apple cider vinegar)
  • 4 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • pinch dried thyme
  • kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

In a small saucepan over low heat, whisk together the glaze ingredients.  Adjust amounts and seasoning, to taste.  (Also good, whisk in a little of the pan drippings from the ham…yum!)


No music today, but a reading assignment! I picked up Allyson Reedy’s Breaking the Chain: How I Banned Chain Restaurants From My Diet And Went From Full To Fulfilled for my Kindle and absolutely loved it. Reedy’s triumph over bland, bad for you chain restaurant food is equal parts hilarious and thought provoking. From trying to eat local or her despair over a favorite breakfast place actually being a chain, she keep you amused while laying out just why you don’t want to eat at the Olive Garden ever again. Wonderful!

24 thoughts on “Fresh Ham Steak with Mustard-Cider Glaze

  1. Dig the Pig – love it! We got a half a hog last year and have faced similar “what is this cut and how do I cook it” moments. Looks like you came up with a great tasty solution for the fresh ham steak.

  2. Great looking dish and preparation. I love learning new methods for preparing pork. I like using our meat smoker for the slow cooking approach and adding just the right smoke flavor to a dish like this. Keep on cooking and sharing. We look forward to seeing more.

  3. Thank you so much for posting this! I got a two-pound uncured ham steak in my CSA box and have had no idea what to do with it. I think now we’ll be eating it for Easter, using this recipe. Sounds delicious.

  4. Made this for dinner tonight with pastured fresh ham steaks . . . wow, home run, out of the ballpark! I have had bad luck with this cut in the past and had given up on it, then my husband ordered it by mistake when I wanted a smoked ham. With your recipe, it’ll become part of our regular rotation. I pretty much followed the recipe as given except subbed spicy brown mustard because we didn’t have dijon, and left out the thyme b/c I couldn’t find it 🙂 Thanks for this!

    1. I am glad you found success with the ham steaks, because it truly is a difficult cut to cook and I almost gave up on it myself! The spicy brown mustard sounds really good. Thanks for commenting, Anna!

  5. 2 1/2 ” thick fresh ham steak. Brined in 3 cups water, 1/8 c. salt, 1/4 unpacked brown sugar for a couple of hours. Rinsed in cool water. Dried off. TO GRILL: Preheat grill for 10-15 minutes. Toss steak on high. temp for 3 minutes each side. Turn grill to low (i put the front burner on medium-low and turned off the back burner for slow, low heat.. I did not want my temperature guage to go above 350.. I put steak over the off burner).I grilled turning twice and putting above referenced glaze on twice until the temp on instant read thermometer read 130 degrees. Tent for 10 minutes to bring meat up to temp. SERVE. It was delicious

  6. This recipe looks really good. Do you think after brining, I could put the meat and glaze in a crockpot on low instead of the oven method?

  7. I made this for Christmas dinner. I doubled the recipe for the brine and the glaze and cooked a fresh 9 lb pastured ham. Delicious!!

  8. I too found “fresh ham steaks” a daunting challenge but using this recipe made the meat tender. This turns out to be kinda like BBQ but the glaze ran off my meat and yes I did dry the meat before putting in the oven. What do you think I did wrong? I had 2# ham, so figured 36 minutes cooking for first instructed time so I oven roasted for 6 min then put on glaze because it said 30 minutes before you turn over. It was a great taste anyway.

    1. I’m sorry I missed your question earlier. I have trouble with glaze falling off ham too – I think I just kept glazing it, and at then end dribbled more on for serving. Tasting good and being tender…sounds like success!

  9. Do you taste the mustard in the glaze? I have someone who hates mustard. Or maybe there’s an alternate to mustard I could use?

    1. It’s mostly mustard and honey, so it has a mustard taste. Do they hate all mustard, because there are lots of different kinds? If mustard is a no-go, I’d probably look for a teriyaki/soy based glaze recipe, or miso-honey, or just a standard brown sugar ham glaze.

  10. Made this last night! It was tasty but the ham came out a very sad grayish color – nothing like your photo! I’m thinking maybe it’s because the steak was so thin (about 1.5″) so I wasn’t able to cook it for very long.
    Maybe for a thin steak it’s better to cook it for a shorter period of time at a higher temp?
    Would love to know your thoughts.

    1. I think the color that I got likely came from browning with the longer cook time (and courtesy of the brining and the sugars). I agree with you that for a thinner steak, a higher temperature would be needed. It really was much like a pork chop, so perhaps searing it first in a pan (like a steak), then finishing it in the oven would work best.

  11. I just found your blog as I was looking for recipes for the ham steaks I got from my dad when his boss had to butcher a bunch of hogs. I just had to comment about the name of your blog. That’s how it works here too! 🙂

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