Joulukinkku is the star of the Finnish Christmas meal. Its preparation is time consuming, but the results are well worth the trouble. No other Ham in the world tastes quite as good as the Finnish joulukinkku, prepared as directed here. For busy people, baking a Ham in foil will do just fine, but it just doesn't quite taste the same . . .
- 1 raw shank-in Ham, 4-6 kg (9-13 lbs)
- 3 Tbs salt
- 2 Tbs Sugar
- 5 l (1.1 gal) water
- 1/2 l (2 c) course salt
- 250 g (2 c) Sugar
- rye flour
- 1 Tbs mustard
- 3 Tbs bread crumbs
- 1 Tbs Sugar
Rub the shank with the salt and Sugar. Bring to boil the water, salt and Sugar. Skim off foam and let cool. Place the shank in the brine and leave to marinate for 2 weeks.
When the Ham is to be cooked, cover it with paste made of water and rye flour. Place in a shallow baking dish with water on the bottom so that the bottom of the Ham will not burn. Bake in a hot oven, 250°C (450°F), for 3 hours. Remove the Rye crust. Baste the Ham with mustard/breadcrumb/Sugar mixture and quickly brown. Store the Ham under the Rye crust.
The Ham can also be baked covered with foil, but the Rye paste adds a very special flavor and "maturity" to the taste.