Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Never-Fail Honey Baked Holiday Ham

Well, folks, it happened. Somehow it's already mid-November and the holidays are right around the corner. The shops are already hanging garland from the aisles and blasting Bing Crosby from the loudspeakers. Thanksgiving is just a week (just a week?!!) away, but while everyone else is beginning to think about turkey, the next few days on The Traveling Spoon are going to be all about ham.

Why, you may ask? Well, I personally always associate a clove-studded, crisp-skinned, honey baked ham with the holiday season and it's never too early to begin thinking about your Christmas menu....Then, too, there's the fact that I got a great deal on a ham a couple of weeks ago and just cooked it up for us last week.

Today's recipe provides the basic instructions for a tender, moist, ever-so-slightly-sweet ham that's almost impossible to screw up. Of course, cooking the ham is the easy part - it's a lot harder to come up with creative ways to serve up the inevitable leftovers (because 6 pounds of ham is a lot for two people!) so that's what the next few posts will be about. Master today's recipe and you can look forward to a whole week of ham-based meals - don't worry, I'll try to introduce a bit of variety!

Never-Fail Honey Baked Holiday Ham

1 (6-8 pound) smoked ham
1/3 cup orange juice
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
3 Tablespoons butter
Whole cloves to garnish

Preheat oven to 325°F.  Trim the fat from your ham, leaving only about 1/4 inch thickness in fatty areas. Score the ham and stud with whole cloves (scoring isn't necessary for a spiral cut ham, but it does make it look pretty!). Place ham cut side down in a foil lined baking pan. Baste ham with orange juice, cover with foil and cook for 15 minutes, basting frequently.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine brown sugar, honey and butter and heat until mixture is fluid. Remove ham from the oven and baste generously with brown sugar mixture, reserving some for later basting. Return ham to the oven (at this point, you can add sliced carrots if you wish) and cook for about 1hr 15 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 145°F. Baste ham every 15-20 minutes.

During the last 4-5 minutes of cooking (i.e. after internal temperature has been reached) baste with the reserved brown sugar mixture and place under the broiler to caramelize the crust. Remove ham from the oven and let it rest about 10 minutes (covered) before slicing and serving. Serve with mashed potatoes, glazed carrots and roast vegetables (root veggies or brussels sprouts are a good accompaniment).

This post is shared at:
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  1. Rachel, this is a beautiful Honey Baked Ham, I really like your glaze recipe. My very best wishes to you and your family for a blessed Thanksgiving. Thanks for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and hope to see you again real soon!
    Miz Helen

  2. Oh my word! That looks so stinking good! May I join you for some ham dinner??
    Thanks for linking up to Making It With Allie this week! I can't wait to see what you have for next week!

  3. That sounds pretty spectacular!

  4. Congratulations!
    Your recipe is featured on Full Plate Thursday's Thanksgiving Buffet. Hope you are having a great week end and enjoy your new Red Plate!
    Miz Helen

  5. This looks amazing, will try! Thanks for the inspiration!!

  6. I love smoked roasted ham..thanks for the recipe. recently i tried German smoked honey roasted ham in Bangalore. it was so fab and yummy.