If you’re on the hunt for something effortless and delicious then a ham is so easy to prepare and takes care of a main dish for many. Leftovers are great – you can enjoy ham & swiss cheese sandwiches with grainy dijon for days. In general I’m not really a ham lover (just a ham) but once a year I do enjoy this kind. Last year my main ingredients of cloves & maple syrup got rave reviews. Leave the Turkeys for Christmas & Thanksgiving and try one of these super simple recipes. For a change you can concentrate on some fancy sides. Serve with your favourites and don’t forget the chocolate.
A good cut of meat for this recipe is the butt portion of a bone-in, *water-added ham.
- 1 5-to 6-pound bone-in water-added ham, butt portion
- 3 cups apple cider
- 1 1/2 cups packed dried **apple chunks (about 4 1/2 ounces)
- 3/4 cup golden brown sugar
- 6 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons Dijon Mustard
*In case you’re wondering, ‘water added’ means it has been wet cured. This is typical of most ham and bacon on the US market. Dry cured ham is more expensive, will be labeled as such, and may be so salty and dry that you will need to soak it at home before cooking. So unless you made special effort to find dry cured ham (or bacon) it is wet cured.
Tip: **You can omit the dried apples altogether & just add a little extra apple cider instead or use a couple cut-up fresh apples.
Preheat oven to 325°F. Place ham in roasting pan and bake until thermometer inserted into thickest part of ham registers 150°F., about 15 minutes per pound. Cool ham completely. (Can be prepared 3 days ahead. Cover and chill.)
Bring cider and apples to boil in heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Boil until liquid is reduced to scant 1 1/2 cups, about 8 minutes. Whisk sugar, vinegar and mustard in small bowl until blended. Add to cider mixture. Simmer sauce until reduced to 2 1/4 cups, stirring occasionally, about 6 minutes. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.)
Preheat oven to 375°F. Cut eight 1/2-inch-thick ham slices from bone. Overlap ham slices in glass baking dish. Spoon sauce over. Bake until ham is heated through and sauce bubbles, about 25 minutes. Transfer to platter and serve. Bon Appétit (from the magazine and in general).
THYME HONEY GLAZED HAM
Makes 12-16 servings
Hams with a thick honey glaze can sometimes be too cloying. This recipe takes a more balanced approach that results in a light sweetness and a beautiful shine.
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons chopped thyme
- 1 (12-to 14-pounds) boneless or semiboneless fully cooked ham at room temperature 1 hour
- 1/4 cup cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup mild honey
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Melt butter with thyme and let stand until ready to use.
Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in lower third.
Peel off and discard any rind or skin from ham, leaving 1/4 inch of fat on ham. Score fat on top of ham in a crosshatch pattern without cutting into meat. Put ham on a rack in a large roasting pan. Cover ham with parchment paper, then cover roasting pan with foil. Bake 1 3/4 hours.
Meanwhile, boil vinegar in a small saucepan until reduced to about 1 tablespoon. Remove from heat and whisk in honey, Worcestershire sauce, and thyme butter. Let honey glaze stand until ham has baked 1 3/4 hours.
Discard foil and parchment from ham. If there is no liquid in roasting pan, add 1 cup water (liquid will prevent glaze from burning in pan). Brush ham with half of honey glaze, then bake, uncovered, 30 minutes.
Brush with remaining glaze and bake until glaze is deep golden-brown and ham is heated through, about 30 minutes more. Gourmet Magazine.