Published: Mar 31, 2010
Category: Food and Wine
A holiday --- no better time for what my brother-in-law, the family wag, calls "Jesse's kosher ham."
The recipe couldn't be easier, the results more foolproof. And it's cheap, which allows you to buy a better wine. (I always vote for a second-growth Bordeaux, and there are plenty out there for less than $20.)
This recipe has been a holiday favorite of two wives, which is more than I can always say about myself. It comes from a long-departed friend, Gene Hovis, a dazzling cook and exceptional human who made it all the way from a small town in North Carolina to the Best Dressed List.
Don't worry if you don't have a dozen people coming to dinner --- you'll want these leftovers.
16-18 pound ready-to-eat ham, pre-cooked, with bone in (Do NOT get a smoked ham. Do NOT get a spiral-cut ham; the edges will overcook.)
l box dark brown sugar
l/2 cup Gulden's mustard
l/2 cup bourbon
l/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
l cup honey
2 tablespoons ground cloves
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix ingredients. Pour over ham.
Cook in oven for 2-3 hours.
Baste constantly after first half hour.
But wait! A challenger has appeared. And you know just who’d bring it --- those brilliant home cooks, Melissa Hamilton and Christopher Hirsheimer. Here, from Canal House Cooking, Volume No. 3, is their ever-so-simple holiday ham, which, they say, can feed a village for a week. Lucky village --- this is a killer recipe.
Hamilton and Hirsheimer say a bone-in ham serves 3-4 people per pound. They suggest a 20 pounder --- but hey, they’ve got a village of hungry friends. Feel free to buy a smaller one.
Is the Canal House recipe better than Jesse’s holiday ham? You decide.
HAM IN A POT
1 small jar Dijon mustard
1 and ½ cups brown sugar
1 cup real maple syrup
1 cup orange marmalade
1 20-pound bone-in ham
Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
Mix together the mustard, brown sugar, maple syrup and orange marmalade in a mixing bowl and set aside.
Use a sharp knife to remove the rind from most of the ham, leaving a band around the end of the shank bone. Leave a thin layer of fat all over the ham and score the fat. Spread the sugar and mustard mixture over the whole ham. Put the ham in a large roasting pan or a big pot.
Bake the ham for about 6 hours, basting it every now and then. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 30 minutes before slicing.