Fresh Ham Roast Recipe

Add this level of water

The following recipe is my all-time favorite for our fresh ham roasts.  Preparation time is less than 15 minutes.  Cooking time is 2 hours 20 minutes.  If you manage to save any of this roast, the left-overs are wonderful.

Fresh bone-in ham has not been cured or processed in any way.  Our ham and picnic roasts are cut by the butcher to a thickness of three inches.  These roasts are moist, tender, flavorful, and incredibly delicious.  Try this recipe for a new family favorite.  


  • one 3 to 5 pound fresh ham or picnic roast
  • about 2 to 3 cups water
  • salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper to taste
  • aluminum foil

To prepare:  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Place pork roast in a 13×9 inch pan or glass baking dish.  Generously sprinkle salt and pepper to taste over  both sides of ham roast.  I also sprinkle two or three teaspoons of crushed red pepper over the roast.

Pour 2 to 3 cups of water into the pan (the water level should come about an inch up the side of the roast).  Cover the pan tightly with foil and place in the oven for 2 hours.  The water steams the roast as it cooks, and keeps the roast very moist.  Do not let the water cook all the way out.

At the end of 2 hours, increase the oven to 450 degrees and remove the foil from the pan.  Place the roast back in the oven for another 20 minutes.  Turn the roast after 10 minutes to make sure both sides brown evenly.  Ideally, the water will cook almost, but not all the way, out.

Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes.   Spoon the juices in the bottom of the pan over the finished roast.  The roast is ready to serve.

To serve as a “New Year’s Ham”, place the roast on a serving platter.  Slice the roast across the grain and serve.

To create “pulled pork”, simply shred the roast with your fingers.  (See Pulled Pork Sandwich Recipe for serving suggestions).

Slice ham or shred for “pulled pork”

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