Bourbon And Apricot Spit-Roasted Ham

Source: BBQ USA by Steven Raichlen (Workman Publishing, 2003)
Method: Spit-roasting
Serves: 6 to 8

  • 2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup dry mustard
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 cups apricot preserves
  • 3/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup bourbon
  • 1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 boneless fresh shoulder ham (about 3 pounds)
  • Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup Dijon mustard
You'll also need:
2 cups wood chips or chunks (optional), soaked for 1 hour in water to cover, then drained

Make the rub. Place the brown sugar, dry mustard, ground ginger, and cloves in a large bowl and stir to mix. Set aside.

Make the Bourbon and Apricot Barbecue Sauce. Combine the apricot preserves, 3/4 cup mustard, the bourbon, grated ginger, and garlic in a large heavy nonreactive saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, whisking to mix. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until thick and flavorful, 5 to 8 minutes. Set aside.

Set up the grill for rotisserie grilling and preheat to medium-high. If using a gas grill, place all of the wood chips or chunks, if desired, in the smoker box or in a smoker pouch and run the grill on high until you see smoke, then reduce the heat to medium-high. If using a charcoal grill, preheat it to medium-high, then toss 1 cup of the wood chips or chunks, if desired, on the coals.

Generously season the ham all over with salt and pepper. Put it on the spit. Brush the ham on all sides with the 1/2 cup mustard and thickly crust it with the rub, patting the rub onto the ham with your fingertips.

When ready to cook, attach the spit to the rotisserie mechanism. Spit-roast the ham until the outside is handsomely browned and the ham is cooked through, 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours. To test for doneness, use an instant read meat thermometer: The internal temperature should be about 160 degrees F. After the ham has grilled for 45 minutes, baste it with some of the barbecue sauce, continuing to baste it with some of the sauce every 15 minutes. If using a charcoal grill, you'll need to add 12 fresh coals to each side and toss the remaining 1 cup of wood chips or chunks on the coals, if using.

Unspit the ham onto a platter or cutting board and let it rest for 10 minutes. Thinly slice the ham, serving the remaining barbecue sauce on the side.

© 2006 Steven Raichlen | site design Benjamin Wilchfort