Whether you are planning a buffet or a sit-down dinner, baked ham is a great choice for your main course. I have created many a baked ham recipe over the years, but this is my go-to recipe. It touches all of the bases--an easy recipe for a sweet, sticky, and fruity glaze with a little savory kick to balance the salty meat. Always start with a bone-in ham. When I bought a ham for my mom recently, she told me NOT to bring back one of the pre-sliced ones because they are too salty for her. She's right--in order to compensate for the juices lost from pre-slicing, most companies pump the meat with "sodium solution" a.k.a. salt water. If you can't find pineapple preserves, use peach or apricot.
Baked Smoked Ham with Pineapple and Seeded Mustard Glaze
Makes 16 to 24 servings
A sweet and tangy glazed smoked ham is another versatile holiday entree, equally at home on the dinner or buffet table. (Not to mention the bonus of leftover ham for post-party sandwiches and casseroles.) This recipe features the familiar flavors of glazed ham without resorting to the usual route of brown sugar, pineapple slices and maraschino cherries. If you can’t find pineapple preserves, substitute apricot or peach preserves.
o This recipe uses a average-sized 8-pound ham, but larger or smaller hams can be used to accomodate the amount of people you want to serve (and the leftovers you want to have!) Allow 15 minutes per pound at 325°F, glazing the ham during the last hour of baking, and make more or less glaze as needed.
o Common food safety requires that meat stands no longer than 2 hours at room temperature before serving. This isn’t always easy to do. If necessary, serve sliced ham and replenish the platter as needed.
One 8-pound bone-in smoked ham, preferably the shank end, removed from the refrigerator about 2 hours before roasting
One 12-ounce can top-notch ginger ale (preferably made with cane sugar
1 cup pineapple preserves
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds
1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 325°F. Line a roasting pan with aluminum foil.
2. Using a sharp knife, trim off all of the skin, except for a 1- to 2-inch band around the shank. Trim off all of the fat, leaving a less than 1/4-inch thick layer.
3. In a small bowl, whisk the preserves, Dijon mustard, and mustard seeds and set aside.
4. Place the ham on a roasting rack in the pan. Pour half of the ginger ale over the ham. Cover the roasting pan with foil.
5. Bake for 1 hour. Remove the top foil and baste the ham with the liquid in the pan. Pour the remaining ginger ale over the ham. Bake for 15 minutes. Spoon and spread half of the pineapple mixture over the ham. Bake for 30 minutes. Spoon and spread the remaining pineapple mixture over the ham and continue baking until a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the ham (without touching a bone) registers 140°F, about 30 minutes more.
6. Transfer the ham to a carving board or platter. Let stand for 15 to 30 minutes before carving.