Saturday, April 28, 2012

Baked ham

Now that I've finished my Paris recap, I thought I should go back and update on how Easter brunch went. According to SP's final count, we served brunch to 63 adults and children, followed by stories, a massive Easter egg hunt, and various other shenanigans. As far as I could tell from the middle of the kitchen whirlwind, a good time was had by all, including me. Serving food to 63 people is a new record for me, and, as always, my worries about undercatering turned out to be ridiculously unfounded.

Baked ham with a sweet and spicy glaze
I concocted this recipe to glaze about 25 lbs worth of ham (in 3 large pieces), so you might want to scale back accordingly--1 cup of liquid total is probably fine for one regular ham.

1 cup wholegrain mustard
1 cup blood orange juice
1/2-1 cup maple syrup
1-2 Tbsp dry mustard
1 tsp cayenne pepper
3 hams, each weighing around 8 lbs*

Mix the first three ingredients in a small saucepan and bring just to a boil, then let simmer and thicken slightly. Taste before adding dry mustard and cayenne to see if the sweet/tart/spicy balance is to your taste; I like mine more on the tart/spicy side, which is why I started with less maple syrup. (I ended up using about 1 cup of it in the end, proportional to the other ingredients.)

When glaze components are balanced to your liking and you are ready to bake your ham, preheat the oven to 275F and place the ham in a roasting pan with the fat side up. Pour glaze over the entire ham, using a pastry brush or similar to coat the whole surface and lifting ham up so that some of the glaze is in the pan underneath.

Cover ham with foil and put in the oven to heat through according to packaging instructions. (I usually estimate 10-15 minutes per lb.)

Slice and serve warm, pouring some of the glaze from the pan over the meat.

Serves a crowd, with leftovers.

* These instructions are for American baked hams, which are purchased already cured and cooked. Adjustments to cooking times will be required for uncooked meat.


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