Posted Sun, 12/25/11
The task of preparing Christmas dinner fell to me this year. I put together a baked ham and scalloped potatoes, with fiesta vegetables providing an extra side dish.
When baking a half or whole ham, I always use Jackie's Ham Glaze for basting. It's no-fail easy, and delicious to boot.
Jackie's Ham Glaze
1 can of sliced pineapple, with juice
In a bowl, combine brown sugar, powdered mustard and pineapple juice. Mix well. Fasten pineapple slices to ham with toothpicks. Pour the glaze mixture over the ham and bake at 350-degrees F for one or two hours (depending on the size of your ham). Baste the ham every twenty to thirty minutes.
A few nights ago I happened to be watching a holiday cooking special on BBC America which featured Chef Gordon Ramsay. He prepared a ham using a honey-based glaze (strictly off-limits for me as I'm allergic to honey), but I was more interested in his meat-scoring method anyway:
Lift ham into a roasting tin, then cut away the skin leaving behind an even layer of fat. Score the fat all over in a criss-cross pattern, then stud cloves all over the ham.
I decided to give the method a whirl. I also poked gentle holes into the meat using an ice pick, a roundabout way of allowing the baste to seep through.
I began with a ten-pound bone-in hickory-smoked ham, the cooking time for which came to about two-and-a-half hours.
Removing the pineapple rings, toothpicks and cloves only took a few minutes. The meat was succulent and tender in every part of the ham, not just near the bone. The baste added a slightly sweet, mustard flavor.
After everyone had their fill for dinner, I was able to fill nine plastic bags with the leftovers. I also saved the bone.
I'm already thinking of all the dishes to be made from the remaining bounty: ham salad sandwiches, ham-fried rice, ham and beans, ham and potato soup, ham and cheese omelets, and the list goes on.
My two furry kids Rainee and Kiki had their fair share of ham as well, so both of them were happy and content. They spent the rest of the evening passed-out in their respective sleeping places. Actually, Rainee had been expecting bites since she first saw me prepping the ham earlier in the day. She followed me about the house no matter where I went, as if she thought I packed the whole lot in my back pocket.
All in all, a very good day.