Christmas Ham Recipes
Spiced Brown Sugar Ham with Apple Jus
The secret to this supertender ham is keeping it wrapped in foil while it's cooking and resting, letting it reabsorb any moisture released during the cooking process. "If you can't pick up the foil-wrapped ham without burning yourself, then it's not done resting!" says pork pro Kevin Gillespie, chef at Revival in Decatur, Georgia.
At Akasha in L.A., chef Akasha Richmond prepares a sweet-and-spicy glaze for ham using house-made pomegranate-jalapeno jelly. An easier alternative: doctoring store-bought jalapeno jelly with pomegranate juice.
The sweet, sticky glaze on this juicy ham is subtly spiced with fennel, coriander and star anise.
Dr. Pepper-Glazed Ham with Prunes
Most smoked hams are sold fully cooked, so "why bake them again?" meat master Bruce Aidells asks, before answering his own question: to improve the texture and add a homemade glaze--in this case, one made with Dr Pepper soda and prunes--for extra flavor. After the ham is cooked, Aidells reduces the pan juices and tosses in prunes to make a sauce. "Glazes flavor only the outside of the ham," he says. "But you can spoon pan sauces over every slice."
For entertaining, TV chef Carla Hall glazes a spiral-cut ham with apple cider, brown sugar, mustard, bourbon and sweet spices.
Crispy Fresh Ham with Rum Sauce
Fresh hams, or whole uncured pork legs or half legs, need to be special ordered from your butcher, but they are great for large parties and guarantee delicious leftovers. Linda Japngie, who creates imaginative Latin American cuisine as chef at New York City's Ixta, slow-roasts them to crispy perfection.
Smoked Ham with Apple-Riesling Sauce
Any pickled pepper will work in this recipe but Grace Parisi loves hot Peppadew peppers for their fruity flavor and sweet-and-sour brine. Since the heat level of pickled peppers can vary wildly, you might want to add them gradually while making the glaze.
Smoky Glazed Ham with Red Pepper Jelly
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.
Spicy Pineapple-Glazed Ham
Pineapple mustard and plenty of jalapeños give this ham a perfectly sweet and spicy flavor.
Spiced Smoked Ham with Mango-Cranberry Chutney
Choose a smoked ham with a substantial layer of exterior fat. Use only half of the spice rub if the fat layer is less than an eighth inch thick.