Contains: Added sugars in the ham, and via the maple syrup. Is: Gluten-free, night-shade free, handy for Easter.
(AND you get some ideas for sides at the bottom!)
This past summer I bought a pasture-raised half a pig from a local (as in back in Connecticut) farmer. I had the ham and the hocks smoked (as well as some of the bacon — aka belly meat). In the past, I’ve tried some ham meat not-smoked and cut into steaks, but wasn’t really impressed. Smoking and curing does bring this cut – the hind leg to the shank – out.
So, I decided it was a perfect item to serve at a dinner party – the ham, that is. I decided to glaze it, but to minimize any added sugars I might bring to my table. The smoking / curing process (not done by me) added salt and probably sugar to the ham proper. So when cooking I added no extra salt, and only a minimal amount of sugar, for a layer of glaze, via maple syrup, another product of my geographic region. A balsamic reduction would provide a bit of tartness, cloves naturally go with ham, and a layer of Georgia peach cider (obtained on a road trip down to see family in Florida) would keep the beast moist while cooking.
So… dinner party for five! This would have served eight people happily, too. You could consider this for Easter Dinner, if you so celebrate, as well. It’s that season!
Prep Time: Allow 45-60 minutes for the ham to come to room temp; actual prep about 10 min.
Cook Time: 2.5 hours (20 min / pound).
Rest Time: 15 minutes.
Serves: 8, maybe 10.
Leftovers: Yes. Add to omelets, salads, sandwiches, etc.
Baked Ham with Mustard, Balsamic Reduction, Maple Syrup, Clove
- Around 10 lb / 4.5 kg ham, shank end, bone-in.
- 1/4 cup / 60 mL of a quality Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar reduction
- 2 tablespoons real maple syrup
- Ground pepper to taste – I used about 1/3 teaspoon.
- About 25 whole cloves (or a teaspoon of ground clove)
- 1 cup / 240 mL sparkling peach cider, or apple cider.
Preheat oven to 325 F / 165 C.
Thaw ham in fridge starting a couple days prior to cooking. Pull from fridge about 45 – 60 minutes prior to cooking.
Score the ham with a sharp knife, especially through the fat pad.
In a suitable baking pan deep enough to contain juices without sloshing, place the ham. (For stability, and for any sloshing I might do when basting, I also had a full size cookie sheet underneath. I sloshed. Do it.)
In a separate small bowl, mix the mustard, balsamic reduction, maple syrup, and ground pepper, adding the ground clove if you are using that. Mix together, and slather over your ham, all exposed surfaces, and rub into the scorings.
Add the whole cloves (if you didn’t use the ground clove), poking into crevices of the ham, laying a few on top as well.
Pour the cider around the ham.
Bake ham 20 minutes per pound at 325 F / 165 C. Baste with juices about every 30-40 minutes. If your ham gets too brown, and is in danger of charring, you can cover with foil, but mine was fine.
Remove, let rest for 15 minutes prior to slicing and serving.
Serve with a variety of mustards and horseradish sauce. I really like the Boar’s Head horseradish sauce!!
For this dinner party, I served the above with: (merely suggestions, of course)
- Coarsely mashed Yukon gold potatoes / onion, seasoned with salt, pepper, nutmeg, with added butter. Spread out on baking pan, topped with Fontina and re-heated in the oven while the ham rested. Chopped jalapeños on the side for those who wanted extra “kick” – as I knew at least one guest would appreciate. And one who would most definitely not!
- Veggie stir fry with snow peas, broccoli, baby yellow carrots (yes, real babies, not those silly tough cored things), red bell pepper, green onion. Seasoned with Chinese 5 Spice, ground pepper, teriyaki, garlic, cooked in high temp Chosen brand avocado oil. With a splash of sesame to finish.
- Salad, with red leaf lettuce, cuke, red onion, capers, Gala apple, and oh — I forgot to add the watercress! (At least it wasn’t something critical like forgetting to turn on the oven…) Dressing choices: Annie’s Balsamic or Annie’s Shiitake Sesame. (Normally I would also have made my own vinaigrette, but dinner got moved up an hour.)
- And a guest brought the wine: Sea Pearl, a 2018 Sauvignon Blanc / Marlborough. (She also supplied a red, but the vote was for the white.) A very good, and now-recommended wine!
Oh, and next morning’s breakfast: (dive into leftovers!)
Home-grown egg omelet with ham, snow peas, slivers of baby carrot, a touch of bell pepper, Gala apple, a hint of jalapeño, and Fontina cheese. With a little bit of that horseradish sauce.
Let’s hear it for:
- Fiesta Friday, hosted this time by Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook and Angie @ Fiesta Friday
- Homestead Blog Hop, For all things homesteading.