ham sliced

Glazed ham recipe

Planning to serve ham at the Muskoka cottage this weekend? Our recipe for glazed ham is incredibly easy and a great way to take this dish to the next level

Because ham has been brined, it’s naturally salty. The best way to balance that out is by coating your ham with a glaze that is sweet and tangy. Glazed ham is also a tremendous way to introduce some spice notes to the dish, turning an ordinary ham into a complex and multi-faceted flavour sensation.

The fact that it looks amazing with a carmelized glaze is an added bonus.

The sweetness can come from brown sugar, maple syrup, honey, or even concentrated fruit juice. Classic pineapple baked ham is another variation on this basic theme.

To cut the sweetness, add a sour note – typically vinegar or lemon juice. Then round it out with a some spicy notes. A sharp mustard like Dijon serves double duty, giving you some spice as well as vinegar notes.

Some glaze recipes just have cinnamon and maybe some cloves. We’ve adapted a recipe from Carlsbad Cravings which really takes the seasoning game up a notch, adding small amounts of 11 different spices and herbs, creating a beautiful mix that will keep your guests guessing about your secret seasoning.

And you can use any kind of ham you wish. Spiral ham is a traditional favourite (and makes carving easier), but even an inexpensive boneless ham is elevated when you glaze it. Just be sure to use a fully-cooked ham.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • ½ cup honey
  • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tbsp good quality mustard (Dijon or similar)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp of each of the following spices: onion powder, garlic powder, ground sage, dried parsley, ground nutmeg, ground ginger, ground cloves, paprika
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp ancho chili powder

Method

  • Let the ham sit out of the fridge until it comes to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 325.
  • Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and heat, stirring gently for 2 to 3 minutes until the sugar melts.
  • Place the ham flat-side down on a large piece of aluminum foil. Use a pastry brush to spread a third of the glaze on the ham.
  • Draw up the sides of the foil to wrap the ham – this keeps it from drying out in the oven. Then put it on a rack in a roasting pan, and put it in the oven. Pour a cup or two of water in the bottom of the roasting pan.
  • Bake until a meat thermometer registers 100 to 110 degrees. Allow roughly ten minutes per pound.
  • Remove the ham from the oven and peel away the foil. Put the ham back on the rack, and brush any pan juices over the ham. Turn the oven up to 400 degrees.
  • Brush another third of the glaze over the ham. (You may need to reheat the glaze as it will have thickened and hardened.)
  • Return the ham to the oven. When the ham has reached an internal temperature of 130, remove it from the oven. Don’t overcook it, or you can wind up with a dry ham.
  • Remove it from the oven, spoon pan juices over the ham and apply the remaining third of the glaze. Let it sit for 15 minutes or so to let the juices settle, slice and serve.

To complete the dish, serve it with a traditional English sharp mustard: just mix dry mustard powder with a trickle of water to create a paste. A little of this goes a long way — put too much on a slice and you can clear your sinuses out. But a small smear of sharp mustard is the perfect complement to the sweet, salty and tangy ham.

Posted in Thoughts on Food.