Friday, November 25, 2011

Baked Ham in Spicy Sauce

My pre-sliced ham, to my dismay. I was hoping for an uncut kind.
Copyright 2011 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
Every Christmas when I was growing up, the ads for Christmas ham on television always made me wonder what they tasted like. They always look really tasty all shiny and moist and falling off the bone tender. Our family was never big on ham although my Dad would occasionally buy ham from the market on rare occasions but never on Christmas. As a result, I just never thought of serving ham during the holidays but I never really minded. We cooked enough dishes that it never left a void in our Christmas spread. 

My cousin in Illinois is actually the one who reintroduced me to this holiday tradition when I spent Christmas with them a few years back. Since then, I try to celebrate Christmas with a ham and this was repeated last year as well. At that time, I did not have my blog yet but I took pictures to post on my facebook page. However, I could not find a really good picture to showcase just how good a perfectly cooked ham can be. Enter my cousin Gracie in New Jersey asking for a good recipe for a ham she will be serving I assume as part of their Thanksgiving feast. I had to dig up the recipe I used last year that I really liked and since I'm not making turkey this year, I figured, now is the best time to showcase a ham recipe for the coming Christmas holiday. 

Baked Ham in Spicy Sauce - Adapted*

2 cups pineapple juice
½ cup brown sugar
4 tsp mustard
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3/4  tsp ginger
2 tbsp rum
6 - 8 lb cooked ham
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp water

1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Mix the first 6 ingredients and bring to a boil. 
    Simmer, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Add 1 tablespoon of the rum 

2. Cover ham with the marinade and let stand for 4 hours while 
    occasionally basting with the marinade. 

3. Remove the ham, put in rack in a roasting pan and bake for one hour. 
    Remove from the oven and score with knife and stud with cloves. 

4. Increase oven to 425°F and bake for 30 minutes more basting with the 
    marinade sauce. Remove the ham and collect the marinade. Add the 
    cornstarch, lemon juice and the water and cook, stirring until thick. 
    Add the remaining rum. Serve sauce with the ham.


Copyright 2011 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
While roasting the ham, line with foil another baking pan and bake potatoes dressed with olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper and a sprinkling of Herbes de Provence in the rack below with the ham during the initial baking process. Move the potatoes around during the second baking step to avoid burning them. Take them out early if they are done.  
If you get a ham that is pre-sliced, go ahead and skip the part where you score and stud the ham. If you get an intact ham though, make sure that you trim off the skin and excess fat prior to scoring and studding with cloves. It may not seem much but the cloves really infuse the meat with an aromatic flavor.   

* Tighe, Eileen: editor, Women's Day Encyclopedia of Cookery, Volume 6, Fawcett Publications, Inc., New York: 1966.

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