Take a ham of the very finest sort; a Westphalia one, if you can obtain it. Soak it in water all day and all night; changing the water several times. A Westphalia ham should be soaked two days and nights. Early in the morning of the day it is to be cooked, put it over the fire in a large pot, and boil it four hours, skimming it well. Then take it out; remove the skin, and put the ham into a clean boiler, with sufficient Madeira wine to cover it well. Boil, or rather stew it an hour longer, keeping the pot covered, except when you remove the lid to turn the ham. When well stewed take it up, drain it, and strain the liquor into a porcelain-lined saucepan. Have ready a sufficiency of powdered white sugar. Cover the ham all over with a thick coating of the sugar, and set it into a hot oven to bake for an hour.
What is left of the ham may be cut next day into thin slices, put into a stew-pan, with the remains of the liquor or sauce poured over it, and stewed for a quarter of an hour. Serve it up all together in the same dish. Instead of Madeira you may use champagne. Bottled cider is also a good substitute.
Fresh venison, pheasants, partridges, grouse, or any other game, (also canvas-back ducks,) cut up and stewed with a mixture of Madeira wine, orange, or lemon-juice, sugar, nutmeg, and a little butter will be found very fine.
The birds should first be half roasted, and the gravy saved to add to the stew.