Holiday ham is something I look forward to when Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas roll around. You’ll always find a big, fat, juicy spiral ham decorating the table surrounded by all the fixin’s. It’s a real show stopper with that pretty, shiny, sticky glaze. Anyone else tempted to eat just the sticky skin, or is that just me? Ham has a tendency to be dry and flavorless depending on who cooked it. It shouldn’t be complicated and it won’t be with a recipe this easy.
With classics, you may think they can get boring, and I’m sure you have stories of disaster hams at the holidays. I know I do. Well, this classic recipe is exactly what everyone is looking for. Caramelized exterior and juicy, flavorful interior. Just make sure you get your hands on a good ham. Publix ham is my favorite source near my house. Of course, you could go farm-to-table and get a ham from your local farmer. Whatever you feel.
Ham is easy to prepare and almost fool-proof. Nothing makes me more nervous than working with meat that could go from juicy to dry as a bone in 5 minutes. Ham is very forgiving so there should be no stress involved. A bonus is you can have a sticky glazed ham on the table in 2 hours or less. Just douse in coke, cook a little, slather with glaze, cook some more, and you’re done. It’s simple and gives you time to do that laundry you’ve been neglecting all week.
The Classics Mean The Most
With so many different variations of glazes out there, it almost drives me straight back to the classics. I’m talking brown sugar and mustard glaze. With a coke, of course. Some things don’t need to be messed with. Whoever created that combination got it right because it has stood the test of time. It’s sweet, a little sour, and finger-lickin’ good. This classic ham recipe is all you really need to woo your family at the holidays. It will surely beat the dried up turkey your aunt fixes. This ham recipe is classic; however I just couldn’t help myself by sneaking in one other ingredient.
Something inside me said I shouldn’t miss out on an opportunity to add miso. It’s one of those secret ingredients that adds so much flavor, but most people are too scared to use it, or maybe haven’t even heard of it. Miso is basically fermented soy beans and koji (a mold made from rice, barley, or soybeans). Sounds weird, but trust me it’s delicious! The fermentation adds a depth of flavor, no matter if it’s used in sweet or savory. Can’t really think of too many dishes where you shouldn’t add miso. There’s a lot of choices out there but I tend to use the darker versions, like red miso paste. Go out on a limb and pick some up at your local health food store or Japanese market. You’ll soon be adding it to everything.
Next Level Leftovers
If you would rather not eat straight ham for days and want to change it up, try making these quick fixes for leftovers.
- Ham & Cheese Sandwich – This seems obvious but not really. The other components of the sandwich really matter. A soft yeast roll or crusty white bread goes perfectly with this sandwich. You should be using the best cheese for this baby. Something sharp or funky, or both. Don’t embarrass your ham with a slice of American cheese. Give it a little lovin’ with some sharp cheddar, or go a step further with a smoked cheddar. Maybe you like something even funkier like Swiss or gruyere. It’s up to you, but just save the American cheese for a burger. Oh, and of course yellow or whole-grain mustard and a slather of mayo.
- Ham in Your Salad – I’m always adding bacon to my salad. Ham is obviously from the same animal but it’s a nice way to change up your salad routine! My go-to for leftover ham is a ham cobb salad. You can go crazy and add all the ingredients! Juicy tomatoes, ripe avocado, funky hard cheese, etc. Iceberg or Romaine hearts are my lettuce of choice because of their crunchy texture. The dressing could be made in a snap with leftover ham drippings emulsified quickly in a pan with some dijon mustard, a splash of apple cider vinegar, salt, and pepper.
- Ham in Your Pasta – Make a creamy and/or cheesy pasta and throw ham into the mix right at the end. You could also brown the ham (my preference) at the beginning to get more flavor. Set aside ham while you make your pasta. Throw it back in the pan at the end and toss.
Sweet, Miso, Mustard Glazed Ham Recipe
1 6-8 lb bone-in ham
1/2 c Coca-Cola
1 c brown sugar
1/2 c dijon mustard
3 Tbsp miso paste
Preheat oven according to package directions on ham. In a medium bowl, whisk together brown sugar, dijon mustard, and miso paste. Set aside. Line a sheet pan with several layers of tin foil, for extra leakage insurance. You’ll need a few extra pieces of foil to wrap up ham. Place a reserved sheet of tin foil in the pan and place ham face down in pan. Carefully bring up edges of foil near the ham, but not touching, to catch the coke and ham juices. Pour coke all over the ham. Cover ham with foil and place it in the oven.
Cook ham according to package directions and pull ham from oven when you have 30 minutes remaining. Remove foil from ham and coat completely with brown sugar, mustard, miso glaze. Cook, uncovered, an additional 30 minutes or until thickest part of ham reaches 140 degrees. Remove ham from oven and allow to rest at least 20 minutes before cutting. I like to baste the ham with reserved juices every 5 minutes or so while it’s cooling on the counter.