Well, butter my biscuits, it’s Christmas time again, and you know what that means… ham! Nothing warms the heart (and stomach) quite like a beautifully glazed Christmas ham sitting regally at the center of the table. Sure, turkey gets the limelight on Thanksgiving, but let me tell you, darling, during the Yuletide season, it’s all hog on my hearth.
Now, let’s not just slap a pig on a platter and call it holiday fare. No indeed, the key to convincing your loved ones that you’re the latest reincarnation of Julia Child is in the details—a twist here, a marination there, and voila! You’ve got a mouthwatering masterpiece that brings tears of gastronomic joy to every greedy eye in the room.
A golden rule of mine? Always, always score the ham. This isn’t a game of checkers—it adds a fancy touch and helps your glaze stick like bees to honey. Speaking of glaze, let’s not get stuck on the run-of-the-mill brown sugar and honey routine. Why not cheekily tip your hat to the holiday spirits with a splash of bourbon? Then, gently sprinkle in some orange zest for a citrusy surprise. It’ll slide right down your guests’ throats and leave them humming carols well into the wee hours.
And yes, let’s talk about time. See, ham isn’t a fast-food fling. It’s a slow simmer kind of love, a romance that blooms in the oven’s rosy glow. Just pop it in there and let it get all warm and toasty. Then every half hour or so, baste it with love—and by love, I mean that decadent glaze we whipped up earlier.
Once you’ve achieved that succulent golden-brown exterior, it’s a clear sign that cupid’s culinary arrow just hit the bull’s-eye. Then, that sweet yet intoxicating aroma wafting into every nook and cranny means it’s time to gather the troops. Armed with your sharpest knife, it’s time for the moment de resistance: carving that bad boy. Mmm…I can taste the juicy morsels already!
So there you go, my dears, my secret to hamming it up for Christmas. After all, why just feast on Christmas tidings when you can feast on a sensational, flavorful ham? Remember, the avenues to culinary greatness are as limitless as your imagination. Now, go dress that piggy to impress and give your loved ones a Christmas meal to remember. A dash of trial, a pinch of error, and a whole lot of love—that’s the Taste This Dish way!
Let’s Taste This Dish!
- 1 whole bone-in ham (around 12 to 14 lbs)
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup whole grain mustard
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup bourbon
- Zest of one orange
- Pre-heat your oven to 325°F. Place the ham (fat side up) on a roasting pan and score a diamond-shape pattern on it.
- Mix together the brown sugar, mustard, honey, bourbon and orange zest in a bowl to make the glaze.
- Apply about 1/3 of the glaze all over the ham, getting into the score lines for flavor penetration.
- Pop it into the oven, and bake for about 2 hours or 15 minutes per pound.
- Baste the ham with the glaze at the 1 hour, 1.5 hour and 2 hour marks, saving a bit of glaze for the final garnish.
- Once the ham reaches an internal temperature of 140°F ( as measured by a food thermometer), it’s perfectly baked.
- Let it rest for 15 minutes before slicing into it. Drizzle the remaining glaze over the slices and serve.
I cannot stress this enough, whether you’re preparing poultry, beef, pork, or even our recipe star – ham, always, always use a food thermometer. Ensuring your meat reaches its safe cooking temperature is paramount for not only taste but more importantly, for health reasons. Remember, we want a Christmas meal to remember for its taste, not for a trip to ER. It’s a simple step, just insert your food thermometer into the deepest part of the meat, without touching the bone, and check the temperature. Now, you’re not just a fabulous cook, you’re a responsible one – and that’s the secret ingredient to perfect meals! Keep safe and keep cooking, fellow gourmets.
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