It’s almost summer, which means it’s time to say goodbye to snowy weather and head out into the world. In the words of Frank Reynolds, Danny DeVito’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia character, “I have an idea: Warm sun, cool ocean breezes, and getting ripped shit on rum ham.”
Fans of the show may remember the infamous rum ham that made an appearance at the beach. As the Always Sunny crew tried to make sense of the Jersey shore, they decided to get “ripped shit” on a hunk of rum-soaked ham. Although our recipe isn’t technically a ham, it is a big hunk of pork soaked in rum and salt, so we call it a rum ham when we make it for our friends.
The cut is called a “rack of pork.” It’s essentially the baby-back ribs with the pork chops still attached, and it’s a great hunk of meat to roast or smoke. Fancy folks like to “french” the rack (i.e. cut away the meat around the rib bones to it looks fancier). Call us crazy, but we like to leave the rib meat on. To enhance the Rum Ham experience, we make a chutney with rum-soaked raisins. Because, why not?
For the brine:
4 cups of water + 11 cups of ice cold water
1 cup of rum
1 cup kosher salt
20 black peppercorns
10 white peppercorns
10 juniper berries
5 cloves of garlic, cut in half
5-pound rack of pork
¼ cup dijon mustard
salt and pepper
½ cup honey
½ cup brown sugar
(shot of rum optional)
For the chutney:
1 Tablespoon butter
1 diced shallot
2 apples, peeled, cored, and diced
¼ cup rum soaked raisins
¼ cup ginger preserves
1½ teaspoons sherry vinegar
To make the brine, combine all of the ingredients except the pork and the extra 11 cups of cold water in a large pot or dutch oven. Bring to a low simmer while stirring until the salt dissolves. Allow to steep and come to room temperature. Then add the 11 cups of ice cold water and the pork. Allow the meat to brine in the fridge overnight.
Heat your oven or smoker to 350º.
Rinse the pork well and pat dry with a paper towel. Cover evenly with mustard. Liberally add salt and pepper (we often add a little BBQ rub at this point to add extra flavor). Place the pork in a roasting pan and cook, uncovered, for one hour.
Add the honey and the brown sugar to the outside of the pork and continue cooking until the pork reaches an internal temperature of 150º (about 40 minutes more). Remove the pork from the oven or smoker and allow the meat to rest.
To make the chutney, place the butter in a pan on medium-low heat. Add the shallots and apples and cook until the shallot is translucent. Add the raisins and ginger preserves and stir until incorporated. Add the sherry vinegar and stir. Salt and pepper to taste.
Slice the pork, top it with the chutney, wear plenty of sunscreen, and get ripped shit on that rum ham.