Roasted mock wild boar with Grand Veneur sauce

This recipe is from my mother. It marinates a fresh ham in a way that results in a flavor similar to wild boar. It is delicious, and makes a wonderful centerpiece to a holiday meal. Yes, it’s quite involved!

1 whole fresh (not smoked or cured) ham, 10 to 14 pounds

For the rub:
2 TB ground black pepper
1/2 tsp thyme
1 TB Accent (this is MSG and may be omitted)
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp powdered bay leaf, or 1 crumbled bay leaf
1 tsp caraway seeds, crushed
3 cloves garlic, mashed
4 TB salt
1/2 tsp celery seed
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp grated orange rind

2 medium onions
1 large carrot
2 stalks celery with leaves
1/2 c olive oil
1-1/2 c dry red wine
1 c red wine vinegar
1/3 c cognac

Remove the rind from the ham, leaving just a band of rind around the shank (your butcher may be able to do this for you). Poke ham with a paring knife to make small slits all over the surface. Combine the rub ingredients and rub them over the surface of the ham.  Place ham in a non-reactive (glass, ceramic, stainless steel) container just large enough to hold it. Chop the onions, carrot, and celeryand sauté briefly in the olive oil. Add wine and vinegar, heat just to the boil and remove from heat. Let cool completely then add cognac and pour over ham. Cover ham and refrigerate for 8 to 14 days, turning the ham twice every day.

To roast, remove ham from marinade (reserve marinade) but do not dry it or attempt to scrape off bits of marinade that are sticking to it. Place the ham fatty side up on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Roast at 300 degrees for 4 and a half to 5 hours. A meat thermometer should read 175. If the meat seems to be browning too quickly, cover it with brown paper. When done, remove meat to serving platter and let rest, uncovered, in the turned-off oven while you make the Grand Veneur sauce:

Reserved marinade from the meat
2 c dry red wine
2 c beef gravy (canned if necessary)
1 c beef stock
1 TB currant jelly
salt to taste
1 tsp black pepper
1 TB finely chopped scallions
2 TB finely chopped parsley

Strain the marinade and discard the solids. Combine marinade liquid with gravy and wine and simmer until reduced in volume by about half, until the sauce is slightly thicker than you want it to be. Sauce can be prepared to this point ahead of time. Bring beef stock to the boil. Remove excess fat from the roasting pan and pour in the boiling stock. Use a wooden spoon to loosen all the brown goodies that are stuck to the pan, then pour the stock into the sauce. Add the jelly and salt to taste. Add scallions, pepper, and parsley and simmer briefly.

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