I used to buy a glazed ham from a certain shop every Easter. It was expensive and the lines were ridiculously long, but I believed that was my only option. Making a ham, after all, must be at least as difficult as roasting a pig in a pit, right? Hams were something that grandmothers made, certainly not modern women with options. After we'd moved to a small town, and I couldn't revert to buying that specialty ham, I decided I'd have to face my fears and make my own ham, just like Grandma. I've never looked back since. There's a conspiracy out there to make you believe that making a ham is too difficult or time consuming. The simple truth is that it couldn't be easier-or cheaper for that matter. I've made it as easy as I can in the directions. You just can't go wrong. Every grocery store in town is going to try to lure you in this week, with rosy pink hams just ripe for the picking at downright cheap prices. Buy it fully or partially cooked. Buy it half, buy it whole, buy just a few pounds. I've got you covered with directions below.
My glaze is simply brown sugar, mustard, and honey-a pleasing balance of sweet and tangy. You could go crazy and experiment with jams, marmalades, or even a bit of cola. And by way of endorsement, I made this ham for my parents last year. Dad asked, "Why would anyone ever get a specialty ham, when they could make this?" 'Nuff said.
Money Saving Tips:
Hams will be so cheap this week, you might just want to buy two and freeze one. Use good brown sugar for the most complex flavor.
Brown Sugar and Honey Glazed Ham
1 half or whole Ham, labeled as "fully cooked", or "ready to eat"
**** See directions below for a ham that is not fully cooked
1 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup yellow mustard
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Place the ham on a rack in a roasting pan. Bake uncovered for 17 minutes per pound for a whole ham, or 22 minutes per pound for a half ham. Use a thermometer to check the temperature-it should read 140 degrees. ABOUT 30 MINUTES BEFORE THE HAM IS FINISHED, combine mustard, brown sugar, and honey in medium bowl; season lightly with salt and pepper. Increase the oven temperature to 375 degrees. Remove ham from the oven and slash the fatty part of the ham in a diamond pattern, if desired. Slather the ham with the glaze. Return the ham to the oven for the remaining 30 minutes. Let the ham rest for 20 minutes before slicing. Ladle any syruppy juices from the pan over the sliced ham.
***** For a ham that requires cooking before eating, follo w the directions above, but cook the ham for 18-20 minutes per pound for a whole ham, and 20 minutes per pound for a half ham. For a shank or butt portion, cook for 35 minutes per pound. Cook the ham to an internal temperature of 160 degrees.
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