Monday, March 23, 2015

Joey's Ginger Ale Glazed Ham

 I recently had some friends over for dinner and because I wanted to try out an idea for a ham glaze. I know many people like to glaze a baked ham with maple syrup and brown sugar or pineapple, but I always wanted to do a ham glazed with ginger ale. I figured, since I already use ginger ale to make Hot Ham, why not make a glaze for a baked ham too? So I did what I always do.. I threw a bunch of things in a pot and tasted it, figuring I'd tweak it here and there until it was right. I got it right on the first try!! I wanted it to hit certain flavor notes (a little sweet and a little tangy) but I definitely wanted the ginger ale to be the star. And that's exactly what this glaze is. Yum! Now I know it may seem a bit daunting to cook a big ham for dinner, but seriously, it's one of the easiest things you could ever make. You just pop it in the oven and let it cook! And everyone is always SO impressed! My sister, Jeanie, said she makes ham all the time, just to have on hand, and it goes really far because you use every bit of it. After you finish eating all the meat off the bone, then you use the bone for soup! (mmm.. ham bones make some of the BEST soup.)
 So if you're planning a holiday meal, or even just to have it on hand, instead of doing a maple glazed ham, try this ginger ale glaze. I KNOW you will love it. I promise you your guests will too!

1 10-12 lb fully cooked shank or butt portion half ham
A few cups ginger ale (NOT diet, preferably Canada Dry)

For the glaze:
2 cups ginger ale
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup brown mustard, such as Guldens
1 tbs cider vinegar
1 cup dark brown sugar

Heat oven to 325ºF.
The ham is already cooked, so you're really just glazing it and slowly heating it through. Remove the packaging and place it on a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, make long shallow cuts about an inch apart, all going in one direction, then do the same thing in the other direction, making a criss cross pattern. (You really don't have to do this, but it looks nice on a serving platter) Place the ham (flat side down) on a rack in a roasting pan. Pour a few cups of ginger ale into the bottom of the pan, just about an inch or two, just to keep the ham nice and moist while it's in the oven. Cover the roasting pan tightly with heavy duty foil, or with a lid if you have one. Place the ham in the oven, and let it roast for 20 minutes per pound. Check on it about halfway through, and add more ginger ale to the pan if needed. In the meantime, make the glaze. In a small pot, mix together the glaze ingredients. Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Let it reduce until it begins to get syrupy and a little thicker. During the last half hour of cooking time, remove the ham from the oven. Remove the foil and brush the ham generously with the glaze. Place it back in the oven, uncovered, for the remaining 30 minutes. Feel free to glaze it again when it comes out of the oven. Tent it loosely with foil and let it rest for about 20-30 minutes before carving it. Serve with extra glaze.

Make sure you use regular ginger ale and not diet. You want the sugar because it will caramelize and your ham will be gorgeous!
After you make your criss cross cuts, you can stud the ham will whole cloves, if you like. I did, just because it looks pretty and it's kind of a classic thing to do. If you're not going to present the entire ham on your dinner table, then you don't even have to bother with the criss cross slices or the cloves.
After the ham is gone, wrap the bone tightly with foil and store it in the freezer until you're ready to make soup!

No comments: