Chef Matt: 18-hour Honey Ham

Once a week or so, 1907 Meat Co. Executive Chef Matt Buechele will take the blog helm to offer a recipe that requires a little more skill. 

This recipe uses the sous vide method — using a circulator to heat water to the temperature to which you want to cook the food. For example, if you want to sous vide a steak to medium rare, set the circulator to 130°F, seal the steak in a heat-safe vacuum bag and put it in the water for the appropriate amount of time. It will never cook over 130°F! 

*Fun fact: the vacuum pack bags we use in the grab-and-go case at 1907 Meat Co. are safe for sous vide.*

This Sous Vide Honey Ham took 18 hours to cook, plus maybe half an hour for prep. A traditional ham takes about a week to go from fresh ham to cured ham. This 18-hour ham isn't as salty, but it definitely has ham qualities. 

Before you make this recipe, you'll need:
1. Circulator — we used a Joule: Sous Vide by ChefSteps. Joule has an app that links to the circulator via bluetooth, so you can turn it on, off, set or change the water temperature, look up cooking times and methods, and more straight from your phone! It even has suggested recipes, like this Honey Ham. 
2. Kitchen scale to measure ingredients.
3. Fine mesh strainer.
4. Heavy duty sous vide bag. 
5. High quality plastic wrap.


Chef Matt's 18-hour Honey Ham

*This recipe has ingredient proportions for an 11-lb. ham, but also percentages for the weight of the meat if you don't want to deal with 11 pounds of meat! We used a 3 lb., 14 oz. boneless pork shoulder. 

• 1 large bone-in pork shoulder, 11 lbs., from 1907 Meat Co. 
• 18 oz. honey, or 10 percent of the weight of the meat.
• 1 oz. liquid smoke, or .5 percent of the weight of the meat.
• 3.5 oz. brown sugar, or 2 percent of the weight of the meat.
• 1.3 oz. salt, or .75 percent of the weight of the meat.
• Pinch of pepper.

Heat several gallons of water in a large pot or tub (depending on how big your ham is) with the circulator. For a slightly pink ham, heat to 140°F — that's what we did. For a more well-done ham, heat to 154°F. If you're doing this on a counter top, place a towel or hot pad under the pot or tub to protect the surface. The stove is fine, too.
Score the top of the ham with a sharp knife. 

Combine honey, liquid smoke brown sugar, salt and pepper in a skillet or sauce pan and bring to a simmer until bubbly. Remove from heat. 
Place pork in vacuum-grade bag and pour glaze over pork. Rub glaze over pork to ensure the entire surface is covered.  
Seal the bag using a vacuum sealer on the dry setting.

Place bag in heated water and cover with plastic wrap to avoid evaporation. Cook for 18 hours.
When ham is finished, remove from water.
Heat oven to 450°F. 
Strain the juices from bag into a skillet and reduce until syrupy to make the honey glaze.
Place ham in an foil-lined baking sheet or roasting pan and brush glaze over ham. 
Bake 5-7 minutes, or until ham turns golden brown and add another layer of glaze. Repeat until ham is caramelized and browned. 
Remove from oven and let rest five minutes.

Slice and serve with your favorite sides, and use extra glaze for dipping! Leftovers are perfect for ham sandwiches! 

Let us know how you like it! 

Matt Buechele is the Executive Chef at 1907 Meat Co.
Sally Asher is the Communications Coordinator at 1907 Meat Co.

PorkChris Peters