Grilled Asparagus and Ham
Thomas J. Story
Yields8 ServingsAt Home30 minsIn Camp10 minsTotal Time40 mins
AuthorElias Cairo, Olympia Provisions, Portland

During his charcuterie apprenticeship in Switzerland, Elias Cairo of Olympia Provisions in Portland learned to make Landrauchschinken, Swiss country ham that’s cured, dipped in burnt sugar with juniper and rosemary, and smoked. He wraps slices around asparagus and grills the bundles over a wood fire—a dead-simple but phenomenally flavorful dish. It’s also good made with prosciutto and cooked over a grill—an easy idea to keep in mind for home.

How to Make It

At Home
1

On 2 rimmed baking sheets, toss asparagus with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and divide into 20 to 24 portions of 2 or 3 spears. Cut ham in half lengthwise if needed to make 20 to 24 pieces. Wrap each portion of asparagus around the middle with ham. Seal in a plastic bag and pack in a cooler.

In Camp
2

Build a fire (see "Campfire 101" below) and let it burn to medium (you can hold your hand 5 in. above cooking grate only 5 to 7 seconds). Set a charcoal grill grate on the firepit cooking grate (so the asparagus won't fall through). Grill asparagus bundles, turning often, until ham is browned and asparagus is tender-crisp, 8 to 10 minutes.

* Find Landrauchschinken at olympiaprovisions.com

Campfire 101
3

DO YOUR RESEARCH. 
Before you go, check that your campground allows fires and you can bring in wood or buy it there. You’ll want large logs, twigs for tinder, medium sticks for kindling, a butane lighter, newspaper, grilling tongs and gloves, home char- coal grill grate, and paper towels and oil for cleaning grates.

4

TIME IT RIGHT
. The perfect fire for cooking has low flames plus plenty of embers. It takes 1 to 11⁄2 hours to burn down to this stage.

5

BUILD THE FIRE
. In a fire ring with cooking grate pushed away, make a log cabin with 6 large logs: 2 parallel to each other, 2 crisscrossed on top, and a third set like the first. Crumple newspaper into the center and add a handful of twigs. Make a tipi over the twigs with some medium sticks. Ignite paper. Gently fan fire until flames emerge.

6

START A FEEDER FIRE. 
Off to the side of the main fire, ignite a second, smaller one with just a few logs. Let fires burn.

7

ARRANGE AND ADJUST
. Using tongs, spread a bed of embers with low flames under the cooking grate and in area needed for dutch oven cooking. As you cook, add fuel from feeder fire.

8

PUT IT OUT
. Never walk away from a fire that’s still burning. When it’s down to cinders, spread the remains in the fire ring and douse with water.

Ingredients

 2 ⅛ lbs fat asparagus (green or purple), tough ends removed
 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
 About 1/2 tsp. each kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
 ¾ lb thinly sliced Swiss country ham* or prosciutto, pieces about 7 in. long

Directions

At Home
1

On 2 rimmed baking sheets, toss asparagus with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and divide into 20 to 24 portions of 2 or 3 spears. Cut ham in half lengthwise if needed to make 20 to 24 pieces. Wrap each portion of asparagus around the middle with ham. Seal in a plastic bag and pack in a cooler.

In Camp
2

Build a fire (see "Campfire 101" below) and let it burn to medium (you can hold your hand 5 in. above cooking grate only 5 to 7 seconds). Set a charcoal grill grate on the firepit cooking grate (so the asparagus won't fall through). Grill asparagus bundles, turning often, until ham is browned and asparagus is tender-crisp, 8 to 10 minutes.

* Find Landrauchschinken at olympiaprovisions.com

Campfire 101
3

DO YOUR RESEARCH. 
Before you go, check that your campground allows fires and you can bring in wood or buy it there. You’ll want large logs, twigs for tinder, medium sticks for kindling, a butane lighter, newspaper, grilling tongs and gloves, home char- coal grill grate, and paper towels and oil for cleaning grates.

4

TIME IT RIGHT
. The perfect fire for cooking has low flames plus plenty of embers. It takes 1 to 11⁄2 hours to burn down to this stage.

5

BUILD THE FIRE
. In a fire ring with cooking grate pushed away, make a log cabin with 6 large logs: 2 parallel to each other, 2 crisscrossed on top, and a third set like the first. Crumple newspaper into the center and add a handful of twigs. Make a tipi over the twigs with some medium sticks. Ignite paper. Gently fan fire until flames emerge.

6

START A FEEDER FIRE. 
Off to the side of the main fire, ignite a second, smaller one with just a few logs. Let fires burn.

7

ARRANGE AND ADJUST
. Using tongs, spread a bed of embers with low flames under the cooking grate and in area needed for dutch oven cooking. As you cook, add fuel from feeder fire.

8

PUT IT OUT
. Never walk away from a fire that’s still burning. When it’s down to cinders, spread the remains in the fire ring and douse with water.

Grilled Ham and Asparagus