Ham for the holidays! Ham is one of those time honored jewels that sets the holiday table for wonderful family Christmas gatherings. It’s the centerpiece, that glistening star, the delicious maple balsamic ginger glazed ham, the provider of the left over midnight sandwiches.
If you’ve never cooked a fresh ham don’t despair it’s easy and simple when cooked in the Kitchen Charm cookware. You’ll say good bye to dry and hello to a moist, sweet maple balsamic ginger glazed ham.
The secret to a moist ham is the self basting rings on the lid which continually bath the ham in its own juices and glaze; leaving you with a moist, tender ham full of savory mouth watering flavor. You’ll think to yourself why have I waited so long to try this?
There are a few things to know about purchasing a ham; they fall into three categories: city, which is a wet-cured ham, country ham, dry-cured and fresh, uncured. Most often you’re going to have to go to a butcher to get a “fresh” ham; this is one that hasn’t been cured or cooked. You can even ask the grocery store butcher to order one in for you; it usually takes 3 days to get one in.
The next important fact to know, price makes a difference in the quality of the ham. Price really does matter here; the old saying really is true, “you get what you pay for”. Bargain hams or low cost hams often are filled with extra water injected during the curing process. Not only does the ham lose flavor, you are paying for water weight. A better quality ham is one that is packed in natural juices. For our maple balsamic ginger glazed ham we are using one that has not been cooked or cured. It’s 100% all natural ham. This one will not disappoint and will produce the most consistent and satisfying flavor.
Are you ready to try this? We promise the slow roasting beneath the shower of salt, pepper and glazed with the maple syrup, balsamic and ginger is worth the effort of a home-cooked ham for your holiday celebration. You’re going to feel such an accomplishment and sense of pride when you present this beautiful star of the Christmas feast and set it on your table.
Let’s get started!
•6-8 LB Fresh ham
•1/3 Cup chicken stock
•4 Tsp coarse kosher salt
•4 Tsp Cracked black pepper
•¾ Cup Pure Maple syrup
•1 TBL brown sugar
•1/3 Cup good aged balsamic vinegar
•1 Tsp Cinnamon
•¾ Tsp Ground ginger
1. Set the ham out and let it come to room temperature. About 20-30 minutes.
2. In a small bowl, combine maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, cinnamon, brown sugar and ginger, set aside.
3. In a small bowl combine the salt and pepper. Set aside
4. Take the ham with the fat side up; with a sharp knife score the fat in 1” sections. Cut through the fat almost down to the meat.
5. Firmly rub the salt and pepper mixture all over including into the scored sections you have made in the fat. Press it down firmly.
6. Pre-heat a 6 quart pan on medium high. The pan is ready when water droplets bead up and dance around. Place fat side down, pressing it down firmly to achieve a good sear and cook 8-12 minutes. You want to sear the salt and pepper into the fat and release some of the fat drippings into the pan, place lid on ajar.
7. Using tongs to hold the ham sear the other two sides of fat. This will require you to turn the ham on its sides and hold it for a few minutes on each side excluding the meat side. This will give your ham beautiful color and texture.
8. Turn your ham so the meat side is down and scored fat side is up in the pan. Add the chicken stock to the bottom of the pan. Slowly pour the glaze mixture over the ham, making sure it has a chance to fill in all the cuts you’ve made in the fat. Place lid on with the Redy-cook valve opened; wait for the whistle to sound, close the Redy-cook valve and turn heat down to medium low, cook for 50-60 minutes. The internal temperature of the ham should get to 145 degrees. Check with meat a thermometer in the thickest part of the ham. For the temperature reading to be accurate it must hold 145 reading for 15 seconds.
9. Baste ham every 20 minutes with the juices; about 2-3 times.
10. Remove the ham from the pan and allow it to rest for 15-20 minutes allowing juices to redistribute.
While the ham is resting turn heat up to medium and reduce juices down to achieve a thicken sauce, about 5-10 minutes. This will give you a beautiful demi-glaze to serve alongside your ham.
11. Carve and serve with the glaze.
NOTE: If you are using a bone in ham you will need to cook your ham an additional 10-15 minutes. Check the temperature at 60 minutes. If it has reached 145 in the thickest part of the ham it’s done. Otherwise put it back on for an additional 10-15 minutes.
Life is Delicious!