One-Pot Wonders

Super Simple Glazed Ham

December 14, 2009
6 Ratings
Photo by Rocky Luten
Author Notes

I almost hate to submit this recipe, but after years of trying to do way too much with ham, I finally figured out simpler is better. It can be done without the glaze for serving, but I think that really adds to it. —Kayb

Test Kitchen Notes

"Kayb sticks to a classic sweet glaze, but instead of whacking you over the head with sugar, Kayb balances the sweetness (here, dark brown sugar) with grainy and ground mustards, and a healthy splash of bourbon. We used a boneless cured and smoked and cured ham, and although it didn't have a speck of fat on in, we still scored it—what's a ham without a little checkerboard pattern?" –A&M

"No doubt about it, turkey is the star of Thanksgiving. Whether it’s roasted, smoked, or fried, we dedicate hours and hours (and hours!) to making a picture-perfect bird. But we don’t always have to talk turkey. There’s another protein powerhouse that’s just as tasty. Raise your hand if you’re also looking forward to a spiral of sweet, juicy ham.

One of the challenges of holiday hams is that we’ve come to expect a dish sweet enough for the dessert table. And while a thick brown-sugar crust is addictive, this season, we’d like to keep things simple. Specifically, super simple with Kayb’s glazed ham.

Instead of whacking you over the head with sugar, Kayb balances the sweetness of dark brown sugar with grainy and ground mustards—plus a healthy splash of bourbon. Feel free to adjust to your tastes: less sugar, more spice, different alcohol (rum is delicious). It’s a seriously flexible formula!

The key to ham-tastic greatness is basting. To keep the meat moist, brush the drippings over the entire surface of ham. Make sure that you remove the dish from the oven and close the door while basting. You’ll lose heat and increase the cooking time if you try to base with the oven door open." –Katie Macdonald

—The Editors

  • Serves 8
  • For cooking ham
  • 1/2 cup whole-grain mustard
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 1 5-8 pounds half ham, butt portion, can be sliced or not
  • For sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups ham drippings or stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • Pinch ground cloves
In This Recipe
  1. Score ham in a diamond pattern to 1/4 inch deep (if not sliced). Place ham on rack in roasting pan.
  2. Blend mustard, honey, nutmeg, and cloves.
  3. Using your hands, smear mustard mixture all over surface of ham.
  4. Again using hands, pack brown sugar all over exterior of ham, pressing to be certain it adheres.
  5. Put bourbon in a spray bottle, and mist brown sugar coating to barely moisten. You may not use the entire 1/4 cup.
  6. Bake ham, uncovered, in 300°F oven for 20 minutes per pound.
  7. Strain ham drippings, skim as much fat as you wish, and add ham stock to make 1 1/2 cups. Heat in small saucepan over medium heat to boiling. Add brown sugar and spices; cook until thickened and serve over ham at table. (You can also add a little pineapple juice to this, if you wish.)
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I'm a business professional who learned to cook early on, and have expanded my tastes and my skills as I've traveled and been exposed to new cuisines and new dishes. I love fresh vegetables, any kind of protein on the grill, and breakfasts that involve fried eggs with runny yolks. My recipes tend toward the simple and the Southern, with bits of Asia or the Mediterranean or Mexico thrown in here and there. And a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on a float in the lake, as pictured, is a pretty fine lunch!