Ham Glaze

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Now that the holidays are over, grocery stores are practically giving away prime pieces of meat not sold during Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I couldn’t resist picking up this whole ham.  After all, ham leftovers last a long time, freeze well and are very versatile.  Sandwiches, breakfast, snacks and soup – ham is usually a welcome sight.  And the bone is awesome to use in your red beans and rice.

But what is in that little mystery packet of “glaze” typically included with the ham?  Sugar? Spices? Extra Nitrates?  More silicon dioxide? I’ve just never been able to use it.  So, over the years, I’ve come up with my own glaze, adding and subtracting ingredients along the way.  This is my glaze recipe for around 10 years now.  It gives ham a beautiful glaze and fills the house with an intoxicating aroma that just can’t be achieved by any mystery “glaze” packet.  This is just my personal glaze though – you can add and subtract too.  Maybe add cinnamon and vanilla instead of cardamom and nutmeg or use a can of pineapple juice instead of orange juice…don’t be afraid.  Whatever you do, however, don’t put all the pretty whole cloves on the outside of the ham like you see in the pictures.  I did that once.  No one loves clove that much.  Trust me.

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Ham Glaze

1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup molasses
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1/4  cup soy sauce
1 cup orange juice or juice from 4 oranges
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
½ can ginger ale
2 teaspoons black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 pineapple or 1 can of pineapple rings
6 whole cloves
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 bay leaves
6 allspice berries
1 star anise
¼ teaspoon cardamom seed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Throw mystery “glaze” packet in the trash.  Whisk all ingredients together.  Rinse ham, place in a large pan with high sides, fat side up, score the top and pour glaze over.

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Slice pineapple, core and affix to top of ham using toothpicks.  Cover top of ham with loosely with aluminum foil and cook for 15-20 minutes per pound, basting every 30 minutes.  This baby is a 5-hour ham!  Cook until hot in the middle.  During the last 45 minutes of cooking, remove foil and baste every 15 minutes.

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I am using a fully cooked smoked ham but if you are using a raw ham, be sure to cook it thoroughly.  You can check out some essential kitchen basics with Chef Karen Marie Paulk on safe food handling by clicking here.

Once done, let ham rest rest aluminum foil on for 10 minutes, carve and enjoy!

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Wishing all of you a happy, healthy and prosperous 2015!

May you all resolve to…

Eat Well!


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