Country Ham with Sauce Véronique

The Old Courthouse in Newport offers a buffet brunch every Sunday, and at the head of the table is a North Country Smokehouse ham with the sauce of the day. This sauce Véronique is one of their favorites. Serves six.


1 boneless half-ham North Country Smokehouse ham

Place the ham in a tightly covered, deep pan covered with a layer of plastic wrap and a layer of foil with a little juice or water in the bottom of the pan. Bake for about 20 minutes per pound at 325 degrees. If you want to add sugared grapes to the plating, make them a day ahead. Sauce Véronique is made with seedless, green grapes and is a wonderful accompaniment.


Sauce Véronique ingredients

1 teaspoon butter
1 cup of dry white wine or dry vermouth
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallots
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 cup heavy cream (do not substitute light cream)
1 teaspoon fresh tarragon, chopped
1 cup fresh green seedless grapes, halved (reserve a few for sugaring)

For the sauce:

Sauté shallots in butter until translucent. Add all ingredients except cream, tarragon and grapes, and simmer to reduce by half. Add cream and grape halves. Simmer for another minute. Add chopped tarragon. Garnish with additional sugared grapes and tarragon sprigs.

For sugared grapes, whisk 2 egg whites with 1/8 teaspoon of lemon juice. Toss the grapes in the bowl to coat, then toss in a bowl with 1 cup of sugar. Put on a paper towel to dry for several hours. Dress the ham with the frosty-looking grapes.

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