Friday, March 18, 2016

Easter Glazed Ham

Ham with *Parsley Potatoes
Ham was always served for Easter Dinner growing up, so once a year it was a big deal! When marrying and taking my turn baking one, it presented a great mystery: what kind, how big, how long to bake, bone in, boneless, smoked, picnic, cured?  Even my trusty Betty Crocker Cook Book left me confused.


My mother-in-law showed me her method of smearing with mustard, sticking in cloves (studding), putting in a brown paper grocery sack, closing, then setting sack on rack in roasting pan with water in the bottom at 350 degrees for a few hours.  It was tasty, tender and moist. Followed that method for decades, then used bone and scraps for navy bean soup.


In recent years I settled on a tried and true method enjoying ham year round, by stocking up when on sale.  I buy the butt portion versus shank, as it offers more meat, and the ham's label reads: already "cooked, ready to heat and serve."  

Leftovers go to the freezer for use in many recipes: sandwiches, soups, ham salad, chef salads, omelets, casseroles, scalloped potatoes, & breakfast slices. Hams frequently go on sale for under $2 a pound around the holidays, offering cooks a big bang for the bucks.  



New Year's Day and Easter are Ham Days in our house! 

Here's link to my post on Leftover Ham Recipes.

Baked Glazed Ham
Ham Butt Portion, around 10 pounds
1/2 cup bottled BBQ sauce or homemade
1/4 cup mustard of choice, I use Dijon
2 Tabs. of honey
1/4 cup of orange juice or 2 Tabs. of frozen concentrated orange juice
Optional: cloves

Score the rind,  fatty surface of the ham cutting up to 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep slashes in one direction all over the surface about inch apart; then turn ham half way, and score more slashes across, so surface ends up looking like tic-tac-toe or "diamonds."

For glazing, combine BBQ sauce with mustard, orange juice, and honey and brush about half, all over ham surfaces; or using your hands, smear all over surfaces. If using cloves, push in along open slashes on top of  ham and inch or so apart.

Place on rack fatty side up, in uncovered baking pan, filling pan with a half inch of water. Bake at 350 until internal temperature reaches 140, about 2 hours.  Baste with remaining sauce every half hour, adding more water to pan if it evaporates. Outside will have a crispy surface and glaze flavors will seep into the moist ham. Slice to serve, allowing about 4-6 oz. per serving.

The bone and smaller scraps can be used to make split pea or navy bean soup. I deglaze the baking pan and drippings, adding more water and scraping to loosen bits and pieces, then save as a broth to add when making soups.

*Parsley Potatoes: I serve ham with boiled potatoes covered with a simple sauce of melted butter, parsley, salt and pepper ( 'cause it's the way grandma did it).  Peel potatoes, half or quarter, boil until tender.  Melt butter, add parsley (fresh or dried), salt and pepper and gently pour over potatoes, rotating or mixing to coat all sides.