1 8-pound fresh ham (pork butt or shank)
1 tablespoon fresh sage or 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
2 to 4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 tablespoon ground black pepper
Cook's Note: Chef Tom Ney suggests 400 degrees for the full cooking time. It is important that the ham rest before slicing to allow the meat juices to disperse through the meat. Mr. Ney thinks that the layer of fat on fresh ham enables the meat to sustain high-heat cooking.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine all ingredients for the rub in a small bowl. Rub the herb mix on exposed meat. Cut off any excess fat. Insert a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the roast. Place the roast, skin side up if it is still on, fat side up if it is not, in a shallow roasting pan and put it in the lower third of the oven. (Lower the heat to 350 to 375 degrees halfway through baking if the meat is getting too dark.) Check the roast; it should have started to brown. Do not baste; this will prevent it from crisping. Once the internal temperature of the meat is at 155 degrees, remove from oven and let rest for 40 minutes until final resting temperature is 160 degrees. Slice and serve. Estimated time of baking is 3 1/2 hours.
Yield: 10 to 12 servings