Homemade Ham for Noche Buena


  • big chunk of pork around 1kg {Kasim or Pigue}
  • 4 tbsp white sugar
  • 1½ tbsp salt
  • ¼ tsp praque powder
  • ¼ tsp msg
  • 1 cup of local Gin
  • 23 cups + ½ cup Pineapple Juice
  • ¼ cup brown Sugar
  • cloves


  1. Combine white sugar, salt, praque, msg and gin in a bowl. Mix well.
  2. Using a knife make incisions in your block of meat.
  3. The sugar and salt won’t be dissolved in the gin right away. Rub your sugar-salt mixture outside the meat and put some in the incisions that you made as well.
  4. Put meat inside the ham net and set aside in the fridge for 15 days or more with the marinade, taking it out every other day to put some of the marinade inside the incisions.
  5. After, 15 days, take it out of the fridge and out of the ham net and boil your ham in Pineapple juice for 25 minutes.
  6. Let it cool for a few minutes then put ham in a baking tray, fat side up.
  7. Insert cloves alternately into the ham net markings.
  8. Make pineapple-brown sugar glaze by mixing ¼ cup brown Sugar and ½ cup Pineapple Juice in a sauce pan. Stir until sugar dissolves. Bring it into a boil and simmer until thick.
  9. Brush ham with glaze and bake into the oven at 300ºF until bubbly and a little brown.
  10. To serve: garnish with parsley and cherries.