Holiday ham a delicious way to celebrate

There are myriad ways to prepare this Easter entree using everything from the oven to Instant Pot

Ham is a popular and traditional entree for Easter dinner.

But not all hams are alike. You can pick from fresh or canned hams, bone-in or boneless hams, and whole or spiral-cut hams.

Fresh ham should have a well-marbled lean section, with a firm white layer of fat. Cured hams should be firm and plump, rosy pink with a fine grain to the meat.

When considering how large a ham to buy, a general rule of thumb is to allow three-quarter of a pound of bone-in ham and one-quarter pound boneless ham per person.

Fully cooked hams can be served as is, but will taste better if glazed and roasted to an internal temperature of 140 degrees.

Most hams need only to be heated. But with all the varieties out there, it’s best to follow the package directions for the cooking times.

No matter the type of ham, there are myraid ways to prepare it. You can glaze and roast it, place it in a slow cooker or Instant Pot or even make a full holiday meal on sheet pans.

One simple, traditional way to prepare an Easter ham is to make a glaze by boiling 12 ounces of pineapple juice, 2 cups packed brown sugar, 1 cup water and 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves. Pour this mixture over a bone-in ham in a roasting pan and bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 2 to 2-1/2 hours, basting occasionally.
Or try basting ham with two 12-ounce cans of cola, then placing pineapple rings, maraschino cherries and cloves on the meat using toothpicks to hold them in place. Cover the ham and bake it in a 325-degree oven for 15 to 18 minutes per pound, basting with cola every 30 minutes.

No matter how you prepare it, let a baked ham rest for 15 minutes before carving to redistribute the juices.

As with any large family dinner, you’re likely to have leftovers. Ham is versatile and can be used for soups — split pea soup is a favorite of many people — casseroles, pasta dishes and more.

Leftovers can be frozen for as long as a month. But if it’s frozen too long, ham will lose its rosy color and turn greyish-brown, as well as lose texture.

Following are a few ideas for leftover ham from


Baked Ham With Spiced Cherry Glaze

1 5-pound boneless ready-to-eat ham

1/2 cup water or white wine

1 cup cherry preserves

1 tablespoon prepared creamy horseradish 1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 lemon, zested and juiced

Score the top and sides of the ham with a small sharp knife in a crisscross pattern. Place ham in a roasting pan that’s lined with foil and coated with cooking spray, Pour water or white wine into the bottom of the pan and bake, covered loosely with a tent of foil, in a 350-degree oven for 45 to 60 minutes.

Combine preserves, horseradish, brown sugar, cinnamon, cumin, cardamom, salt and lemon juice in a medium bowl. Transfer to a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil two to three  minutes, until the glaze is slightly thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon zest.

Remove ham from the oven and brush the top with 1/4 cup of the glaze. Bake about 20 minutes, uncovered, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers 140 degrees. Remove ham from the oven and let stand 10 minutes before slicing. Arrange sliced ham on a serving platter and serve with the reserved glaze.




Amazing Glazed Ham

7- to 9-pound fully cooked spiral-cut ham

1 cup dark brown sugar

1/4 cup grainy brown mustard

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

3 medium oranges, zested and juiced

2 cloves garlic, grated

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Let ham sit at room temperature for one hour before baking.

In a medium pot over medium-high heat, combine brown sugar, mustard, vinegar, cinnamon, paprika, chili powder, orange zest and juice, garlic and some salt and pepper. Bring to a gentle boil and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Put the ham on a rack in a roasting pan, large open-face down so the spiral cuts are stacked on top of one another. Brush half of the glaze over the surface of the ham, getting it between the slices as much as you can.

Pour about an inch of water in the base of the roasting pan, making sure it does not touch the ham. Tent the pan loosely with aluminum foil and bake in a 325-degree oven about 10 minutes per pound.

Remove the foil and increase the oven temperature to 375 degrees. Brush half of the remaining glaze on the ham. When the oven is up to temperature, bake the ham, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Brush the remaining glaze over the ham and cook another 15 minutes.

Carefully transfer the ham to a platter. Serve right away, or cover with foil and until it’s time to eat.




Easter Dinner on Two Sheet Pans


1 cup flour, plus more for dusting

3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese

1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1-3/4 cups heavy cream, plus more for brushing biscuits

1 pound medium carrots, peeled

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 small bunches thick asparagus, tough ends snapped off, bottom half of stalks peeled

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes

1 small clove garlic, minced

2 tablespoons orange marmalade

1/2 cup shredded Gruyere cheese

Three 7 to 8-ounce ham steaks, halved crosswise

2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

3 slices canned pineapple in heavy syrup, plus 1 teaspoon of the syrup

3 maraschino cherries, halved, optional

6 whole cloves

1 hard-boiled egg

4 lemon wedges

Mustard, for serving

Whisk flour, 1 tablespoon Parmesan, baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon thyme, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper together in a large bowl. Add 3/4 cup cream and stir with a wooden spoon until the dough just comes together. Gather the dough into a ball, place on a floured surface and pat into a one-inch-thick square. Cut into four equal-sized square biscuits, reshaping if necessary, and transfer to a plate to chill.

Cut carrots into 1-1/2-inch chunks on the bias, halving any larger pieces to keep them all roughly the same size.

Spread carrots on half of a parchment-lined sheet pan. Melt two tablespoons butter in a small bowl. Drizzle carrots with butter and 1/2 teaspoon salt and toss to coat. On the other side of the pan, toss asparagus with one tablespoon olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt and some pepper and spread evenly. Bake on the bottom rack of a 425-degree oven for 15 minutes, until the vegetables are just beginning to become tender.

Slice potatoes into 1/8-inch-thick rounds and place in a medium skillet with a lid. Stir the remaining heavy cream, garlic, the remaining chopped thyme, 3/4 teaspoon salt and a pinch of pepper together in a bowl and pour over the potatoes. Bring to a boil over medium heat, cover the pan and lower the heat to maintain a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, 10 to 12 minutes, until potatoes are tender when pierced with the tip of a paring knife and the cream has thickened. Remove from heat and set aside, covered.

Remove carrots from the oven and spoon marmalade over them, stirring until completely coated. Turn asparagus spears and return the baking sheet to the oven.

Butter one-third of a second sheet pan. Spoon half the potato slices into an even, overlapping layer on the buttered area and sprinkle evenly with 1 tablespoon Parmesan. Top with the remaining potato slices, spoon any remaining cream over and sprinkle with Gruyere and remaining Parmesan.

Arrange ham slices in a single overlapping layer down the center of the sheet pan, leaving an empty space for the biscuits. Mix brown sugar and pineapple syrup together in a small bowl and heat in the microwave for 30-second increments, stirring in between, until sugar has melted. Spoon glaze onto the ham slices and spread it with the back of a spoon to cover. Cut pineapple rings in half and lay a piece on top of each ham slice. If desired, place a maraschino cherry half in the center of each pineapple slice and pin it down with a clove. If not, pin the pineapple to the ham with the clove.

Evenly space the chilled biscuits on the tray and brush the tops with cream. Place the tray on the higher rack of the oven.

Cook about 20 minutes, until the potatoes are brown and crusty on top, carrots are glazed and fully cooked, asparagus is tender and lightly browned, scones are golden, and the ham and pineapple are warmed through.

To serve, stir the carrots and grate the hard-boiled egg over the asparagus. Divide evenly among four plates. Serve with lemon wedges and mustard on the side.



Instant Pot Whiskey and Honey Glazed Ham

1-1/2 cups honey

1/2 cup bitter orange marmalade

1/3 cup grainy Dijon mustard

1/4 cup rye whiskey

7 to 8-pound spiral-cut smoked half ham (if you can’t find a half ham, ask the butcher to cut the ham to fit the Instant Pot)

Special equipment: a 6- to 8- quart Instant Pot® multi-cooker; kitchen twine; heavy-duty foil

Whisk together honey, marmalade, mustard and whiskey in a medium bowl until combined. Using the Instant Pot metal insert as a guide, trim ham to fit. Reserve the trimmings for another use.

Place two 24-inch pieces of twine criss-crossing one another on a clean work surface and place a 24-inch piece of heavy-duty foil over the top of the twine. Place ham, cut-side down, in the center of the foil. Fold the corners up over the shank end so most of the ham is covered with foil. Take the two ends of one piece of twine and tie them into a tight knot around the ham. Repeat with the remaining twine so you have two twine handles to support and lift the ham.

Set a rack inside the pot and add two cups water. Using the twine handles, place ham inside the pot. Fold open the foil corners so the ham is exposed. Pour the honey mixture over the ham, then fold closed the foil corners so the ham is covered. Lock the lid and set to pressure cook on high pressure for 10 minutes.

Follow the manufacturer’s guide for quick release and wait until the quick-release cycle is complete. Being careful of any remaining steam, unlock and remove the lid. Lift the ham out, place in a large bowl and carefully drain the glaze and cooking juices. Transfer ham to a rimmed baking sheet, cover with foil and let sit until ready to glaze.

Remove rack from the pot and discard the water. Place pot back in the base, set to saute on high and add the glaze. Cook about 25 minutes, until reduced, thick and syrupy. Brush glaze over the ham and inside each slice and serve.

Settings may vary on your Instant Pot® depending on the model. Refer to manufacturer’s guide.




Baked Ham With Brown Sugar Mustard Glaze

12-pound shankless, skinless smoked, cured ham

Whole cloves

1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1/4 cup prepared mustard

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

Score top of ham into diamonds and stud center of each diamond with a clove. Place ham on a rack in a roasting pan and bake in a 350-degree oven for 1-1/2 hours.

In a bowl, combine sugar, mustard and vinegar and spread glaze evenly over ham. Bake another 35 minutes. Transfer ham to a platter and let stand 15 minutes before carving.




Slow-Cooker Ham With Apricot-Dijon Glaze

1/2 cup apricot jam

1/2 cup Dijon mustard

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

Freshly ground black pepper

4 to 5-pound spiral-cut ham

Whisk together jam, mustard, sugar and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper in a small pot. Bring mixture to a boil, whisking occasionally. Reduce heat to a simmer for about two minutes, until mixture thickens. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Place 3/4 cup water in the insert of a six-quart slow cooker. Place ham in the insert on its side and brush lightly with the glaze. Cover and cook on low for six to seven hours, until ham is hot throughout. Refrigerate remaining glaze.

When the ham has about 10 minutes left to cook, reheat glaze in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring frequently.

Transfer the ham to a carving platter or serving dish and brush with enough glaze to make a glossy, sticky coating. Slice and serve with the remaining glaze on the side.

For an easy variation on the glaze, try peach or pineapple preserves.




Spicy Honey-Glazed Ham

8-pound fully cooked, bone-in half ham

1 cup low-sodium chicken broth

1 cup honey

3/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup Dijon mustard

1/2 cup whole-grain mustard

3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

3 tablespoons hot sauce

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Bring the ham to room temperature for one hour before baking.

Position an oven rack in the lowest position; preheat to 350 degrees F.

Trim any skin from the ham, leaving a 1/4-inch layer of fat. Score fat with a sharp knife in a one-inch crosshatch pattern without cutting through to the meat. Place ham, flat-side down, in a roasting pan. Add the chicken broth to the pan. Cover with foil and bake in the lowest rack of a 350-degree oven for 1-1/2 hours.

Whisk honey, brown sugar, mustards, vinegar, hot sauce, thyme and red pepper flakes in a medium bowl. Place 3/4 cup glaze in a separate bowl and set aside.

Remove ham from the oven, discard foil and brush with about one-quarter of the glaze. Continue baking for 60 to 90 minutes, brushing with the glaze and pan juices every 30 minutes, until the ham is a deep reddish-brown and a thermometer inserted into the center registers 140 degrees. Add 1/2 cup water to the pan if the juices dry out.

Transfer ham to a cutting board and let rest 20 minutes before slicing. Serve with the reserved glaze.



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