Source: Aaron Graubart

Christmas Dinner: Top Tips for a Heavenly Glazed Ham

For most people, glazed ham is the centerpiece of the Christmas table. The tender meat is the star meal whether it’s brunch, lunch, or dinner so getting it just right is important. Take a look at these top tips to ensure your ham is a heavenly piece of meat that deserves pride of place on the Christmas table.

Pick the perfect pork

For full flavour and more tenderness, bone-in ham is the best choice. While boneless ham can be more convenient, it’s a sacrifice of taste. Go to a reputable butcher and choose a size that suits the crowd – a 6-7kg ham will feed 10 – 12 people, 8-10kg ham will feed anywhere between 18 and 20 people.

Photo By Alex Lau, Food Styling By Rebecca Jurkevich, Prop Styling By Kalen Kaminski

Let the ham get to room temperature

To ensure the ham gets evenly cooked throughout, let the meat sit at room temperature for a couple of hours before cooking.

Cook covered, low and slow

A longer cooking process with revealing a more tender ham and covering it in foil will act like a steamer preventing the ham from drying out. You can even add a splash of water to the bottom of the pan.

The Magic is in the Glaze

Nothing will beat a properly made and prepared homemade glaze. It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant, keeping your glaze simple is the key to success. Many chefs recommend a basic honey glaze, brown sugar and mustard glaze, or a fruit, spice glaze.

Source: Bon Appetit

Ingredients

8–12 servings

½pineapple, peeled, sliced into rings

1large orange, sliced into thick rounds

110-lb. cured smoked bone-in ham or 6-lb. cured boneless ham

3cups pineapple juice

½cup apple cider vinegar

½cup (packed) light brown sugar

¼cup hot sauceMaraschino cherries (for serving)

Preparation

Step 1

Preheat oven to 300°. Stack 2–3 sheets of foil ample enough to cover ham on a work surface and arrange pineapple and orange slices on top in a single layer. Set the ham on fruit (if using a bone-in ham and it has a fat cap, score very lightly, making cuts about ¾” apart) and wrap up tightly. Transfer to a wire rack set inside a large rimmed baking sheet and bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of ham registers 115°, 3–3½ hours for boneless, 3½–4 hours for bone-in.

Step 2

Meanwhile, bring pineapple juice, vinegar, brown sugar, and hot sauce to a boil in a large saucepan. Reduce heat; simmer, swirling occasionally, until thick enough to coat a spoon. Keep warm.

Step 3

Remove ham from oven and increase oven temperature to 425°. Unwrap ham, peeling back the foil so it covers the baking sheet (this will make for easy cleanup). Once oven is at 425°, baste ham with warm glaze and return to oven. Bake, brushing with more glaze every 3 minutes or so, until glaze is deeply browned and thermometer registers 125°, 12–15 minutes. Carefully transfer ham to a cutting board and let rest 30–60 minutes before slicing.

Step 4

While ham is resting, roast fruit, spooning juices over from time to time, until deeply browned, 20–25 minutes.

Step 5

Serve ham with roasted fruit and cherries alongside.

Glaze timing is key

There’s no need to be in a rush to glaze your ham. Avoid glazing it prior to putting it in the oven as this can burn the coating. For optimal results, apply the glaze generously over the entire ham 15 to 20 minutes before it’s finished cooking.

rum-coke-and-cherry-glazed-ham
Rum, coke, and cherry glazed ham | Source: Delicious

Let the ham rest

Once the ham has finished cooking and out of the oven, don’t be tempted to start eating it right away. Let the meat sit for around 15 minutes before serving to allow all of the juices to be reabsorbed keeping the meat fresh and tender.

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