Chef Jonathon Sawyer’s secret to a successful holiday feast is doing most of his preparation ahead of time, for what he calls “easy game-day execution.” He makes the sauce that becomes a sweet-sticky glaze and the spicy pepper jelly a few days in advance; then, on Christmas day, all he has to do is bake the ham.
Slideshow:Chef Holiday Recipes Made Easy
3 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
3 cups water
2 cups cola, preferably GuS Dry Cola
1 1/2 cups Pinot Noir or other dry red wine
1/2 cup turbinado sugar
1/2 cup buckwheat honey or other dark honey
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 sweet onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh ginger (2 ounces)
1 carrot, thinly sliced
5 small dried red chiles
1 1/2 teaspoons coriander seeds, crushed
1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds, crushed
1 1/2 teaspoons black peppercorns, crushed
One 8-pound, bone-in smoked ham
Red Pepper Jelly, for serving
How to Make It
In a large saucepan, bring the stock, water, cola, wine, sugar, honey, vinegar, onion, ginger, carrot and chiles to a boil. Simmer over moderately high heat for 20 minutes. Add the coriander and fennel seeds and peppercorns and simmer until reduced to 4 1/2 cups, 15 to 20 minutes longer. Strain the sauce through a fine sieve into a heatproof bowl.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375°. Set the ham skin side up in a 12-by-15-inch roasting pan and pour half of the sauce on top. Roast the ham for 1 hour, basting with the sauce in the pan every 15 minutes.
Pour the remaining sauce over the ham and roast for about 1 hour and 30 minutes longer, basting the ham every 15 minutes, until glazed and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers 120°. Transfer the ham to a carving board and let rest for 15 minutes. Discard the skin from the ham before slicing. Serve the ham with the Red Pepper Jelly.
The sauce can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. Rewarm slightly before using.
Jonathon Sawyer worked with Sineann winery to create a Pinot Noir named for The Greenhouse Tavern. Oregon Pinots tend to be spicy and berry-rich—great with this flavorful ham.
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