For a glorious Sunday feast, try an Irish Fresh Ham with Crackings and Pan Gravy. It’s simply amazing and flavorful.
Irish Fresh Ham with Crackings and Pan Gravy

Irish Fresh Ham with Crackings and Pan Gravy
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Main Course
Cuisine: Irish
Serves: 8
  • 8 to 10 pound fresh ham
  • vegetable oil
  • 1 Tablespoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
  • 1/2 teaspoon crumbled dried sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon English-style dry mustard
  • 12 ounces lager beer
For the Gravy
  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour (or gravy flour, if available)
  • 1 Cup beef broth (I use canned broth)
  • 1/2 teaspoon English-style mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon crumbled dried sage
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  1. With a sharp knife, prick the ham skin all over. make 4 parallel 1/2-inch-deep incisions through the skin the entire length of the ham, and rub the ham lightly with oil.
  2. In a small bowl rub together the coarse salt, the thyme, the sage, the pepper, and the mustard and rub the mixture over the entire surface of the ham. Put the ham on a roasting rack that is set in a roasting pan and put the pan in a preheated 500 F oven. Reduce the temperature immediately to 325 F and roast the ham for 1 hour.
  3. Pour half the beer over the ham, roast the ham for 30 minutes more, and pour the remaining beer over the ham. Roast the ham for 2 1/2 hours more, or until a meat thermometer registers 160 F, and let it cool on the rack in the pan for 15 minutes. Pull off the brown crisp skin, leaving the layer of fat on the ham, with scissors cut the skin into small pieces, and arrange the cracklings in one layer in a baking pan. Sprinkle the cracklings with salt and bake them in the middle of a preheated 350 F oven, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes, or until they are crisp and browned. Transfer the cracklings to paper towels and let them drain. Cut the remaining fat from the ham, slice the meat thinly across the grain, and arrange it on a platter. During this, cover the ham to keep it covered.
  4. Skim the fat from the juices in the roasting pan, add 1 cup water, and deglaze the pan over moderate heat, scraping up the brown bits. Pour the liquid into a saucepan. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and 1/4 cup of the broth until the flour is dissolved and whisk the mixture into the deglazing liquid with the remaining 3/4 cup broth, the mustard, the sage, the thyme, and the vinegar and pepper to taste, and simmer the gravy, whisking, for 5 minutes.
  5. Garnish the ham with cracklings and serve it with the gravy.

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