I tend to be sort of a nontraditional Easter menu planner – throwing things onto the table like chicken instead of ham, pasta instead of potatoes. But my husband…well, he is traditional in every sense of the word when it comes to the Easter meal. Which means, since I decide 99.9% of the time what we eat for dinner, that I heave a big sigh and then give in to him every year and we have ham. There is nothing wrong with ham at all. I just like to buck the system and eat it for the 4th of July instead of for Easter.
If you are looking for a great ham recipe this year, I have two up my sleeve that are fantastic. This Slow Cooker Maple Brown Sugar Ham is easier than easy and very delicious (take care not to cook it too long!). The other is a classic ham recipe that I wanted to share if you are more into the oven-roasting method.
This ham utilizes your talents in whipping together your own glaze – and it is worth it. Be gone, sugary, grainy pre-packaged glaze mixes! This glaze is maple-syrup-and-dark-brown-sugar-sweet but balanced perfectly with whole-grain mustard, cinnamon and apple jelly. It sounds bizarre but it comes together perfectly. Ham is a pretty low maintenance meat, and this recipe is no exception. The ham roasts in an oven bag for a couple of hours, is smothered in glaze and then hotly baked to caramelize the delicious flavor. Succulent, tender and delicious.
Note: this recipe calls for a large oven bag.
- 1 (7- to 10-pound) spiral, sliced ham
- 1 (12-ounce) jar apple jelly
- 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
- 1 cinnamon stick, broken into rough pieces
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
- Remove ham from the original packaging and throw away the glaze packet and the plastic disk that covers the bone. Place the ham in the large oven bag and tie closed. Cut four slits (about 2 inches each) in the top of the bag. Transfer the bagged ham to a roasting pan and let it sit at room temperature for about 1 1/2 hours.
- Heat the oven to 300 degrees and bake the ham for 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours (until the internal temperature of the ham is about 110 degrees). About an hour into baking, start making the glaze by combining the jelly, 1/2 cup brown sugar, maple syrup, whole-grain mustard, cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce the heat to low, simmering, until the mixture is very thick and syrupy, about 45 minutes. Stir often while it simmers (it should reduce to about 1/3 cup). Off the heat, whisk in the butter.
- Combine the remaining brown sugar and dry mustard together in a small bowl. Remove the ham from the oven and let it sit for 5 minutes. While it rests, increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees. Carefully cut open the oven bag and let it fall to the bottom of the ham so the entire ham is exposed. Using a pastry brush, paint the glaze onto the top and sides of the ham. Carefully press the sugar mixture onto the outside of the ham with your hands. Return the ham to the oven and bake until it is dark brown and caramelized, 14-16 minutes.
- Let the ham sit for 15 minutes before carving.
Recipe Source: adapted slightly from Cook’s Country April/May 2010