Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Pineapple Glazed Ham (Baked).


With the holidays just around the corner, there are some meals that are considered staples on the holiday menu here in the US and this is just one of them. In my household, my husband (who is an excellent cook), is always in charge of cooking and curving the meats (ham and turkey) during the holidays. He taught me this recipe and I'm happy to share it with you. The saltiness of the ham combines beautifully with the sweetness that the pineapples and brown sugar lend to this dish to create a perfect balance. The heady aroma of the spices used (mainly cinnamon and cloves) permeate the air as the ham bakes and takes on a beautiful caramelized appearance. The pineapples absorb the juices from the ham. and become a treat all on their own. At my house, these pineapple slices are much sought after. We therefore make sure to add extra slices into the baking pan. If you're interest has been peaked, here's how you cook the ham...

Serving Size: 8-10 very generous servings
-Roasting pan with walls at least 2 inches high, to hold in the juices (disposable aluminum pan would also work well).
-basting brush or baster.
-Heavy duty aluminum foil.
-Instant-read meat thermometer that's oven-safe.
-9.5 lb. bone in smoked ham (or whatever size ham will feed your family)
-1 cup lightly packed light brown sugar.
-2 cups 100% pineapple juice.
-2 tablespoons ground mustard.
-2 tablespoons unsulphured molasses.
-1/2 teaspoon ground coriander.
-1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon.
-1/4 teaspoon ground cloves.
-Maraschinno cherries.
-2 cans sliced pineapples.

-Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahreinheit.
-Remove packaging from the ham.
-Place the ham, fat side up, in the roasting pan.
-In a mixing bowl or measuring cup, combine the pineapple juice, molasses, brown sugar, mustard and spices. Whisk well to combine. Set aside.
-Using toothpicks, attach the pineapple rings and cherries decoratively on the surface of the  ham (see the image below). Make sure you leave quite a bit of the toothpick sticking out, so that it's easy to remove when the ham is cooked. Do not do this on the cut side of the ham.
-Insert your oven-safe meat thermometer into the thickest part of the ham, making sure not to touch the bone. Use this as a guide in knowing when your ham is properly cooked and safe for consumption. A well cooked ham with the bone in should register at 160 degrees Fahrenheit (71.111 degrees Celcius).
-Gradually pour 2/3 of the liquid mixture over the ham. Reserve the remaining 1/3 for the last step.
-Tent your ham loosely with some aluminum foil and place the pan containing the ham on the second rack from the bottom of the oven.
-The general rule of baking ham is 12-15 minutes in the oven per pound of ham. Use this as a general rule for baking your ham depending on it's weight. I baked mine for 2 1/2 hours at 350 degrees Fahrenheight (180 degrees Celcius).
-Remember to baste your ham every 20 minutes during the cooking time (periodically coating the meat with the juices it renders as it cooks).
-In the last 15 minutes of baking, uncover the ham and let it brown a little.
-In the last 5 minutes of baking, pour the remainder of the pineapple/ spice liquid over the ham, turn the oven to the. "broi" setting (leaving the oven door slightly cracked) and watch the ham carefully so that it does not burn. Doing this will carmelize the edges on the ham, making it tastier.
-Remove the ham from the oven, return the foil over top of it and allow the ham to rest for at least 10 minutes before carving. This will allow the ham to re-absorb some of its juices, making it more succulent. Remember to remove ALL the toothpicks prior to serving. Ham-flavored toothpicks, besides being hazardous to the digestive system, have not caught on in the culinary world.