Ham it up for 2009

December 29, 2008

holiday20ham20platter

My mom often makes a glazed, bone-in ham for New Year’s Day dinner and I think she’s very smart since ham is easy to make (even if you have a hangover), it tastes good hot, cold or at room temperature, and the leftovers offer almost limitless next day dinner and lunch possibilities.

For the uninitiated, buying and preparing a ham can be a little daunting so here’s a bit of intel to help you make your choice:

  • Most bone-in hams are sold with the outer skin trimmed away. If the one you buy has not had the tough skin removed, use a sharp knife to trim this outer skin from the surface of ham before cooking. After removing the skin, cut off most of the fat, leaving about a 1/4 inch (5 mm) layer. Lastly, using a sharp knife, score a criss-cross pattern over the surface of the remaining fat to create diamond shapes. Place the ham with this fat side up in the roasting pan.
  • Spiral cut hams (like the one pictured above) don’t need to be skinned or scored and they are very easy to serve since they are pretty much pre-sliced.
  • Boneless hams, available year-round, are sold whole, as rolled roasts (recognized by their football shape), or as halved or quartered dinner hams. These boneless cuts are easy to carve and provide about four servings per pound.
  • Most hams, bone-in, boneless or spiral cut, have been cooked during processing and are labeled ready-to-serve or fully cooked as a result, glazing and re-heating the ham is all that is necessary. If you buy a fresh ham, treat it like a pork roast.

Here’s one of my favourite ways to make this McCauley family classic:

Teriyaki Glazed Ham

1/2 cup (125 mL) thick teriyaki sauce
1 tbsp (15 mL) finely grated lime zest
2 tbsp (30 mL) fresh lime juice
1 spiral cut smoked ham, about 5 lb (2.5 kg)
1/2 cup (125 mL) honey garlic barbecue sauce
2 tbsp (30 mL) liquid honey
1 tbsp (15 mL) minced fresh ginger
Fresh coriander (optional)

Stir the teriyaki sauce with the lime zest and juice. Reserve 1/4 cup (50 mL) of the mixture. Pour the remaining mixture over the ham, turning to coat evenly. Cover and marinate, turning occasionally, for at least 1 hour but preferably overnight.

Preheat the oven to 332 F (160 C). Place the ham on a rack in a roasting pan and spoon marinating juices over top. Cover and roast for 30 minutes.

Stir the reserved marinade with the barbecue sauce, honey and ginger. Uncover the ham and brush with some of the glaze mixture. Cook, basting every 15 minutes with glaze, for about 1 to hour or until instant read thermometer registers 140 F (60 C) when inserted into the centre of the ham. Garnish with coriander (if using). Makes 10 servings.

What’s on your New Year’s Day menu?