Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Good things come to those that wait

And that's exactly what I did... for what felt like ALL DAY!  But it was well worth it!  There was a huge crowd to feed so I decided to contribute a very large Christmas ham.

There are many things to love about a Christmas ham; to name a few - it tastes great, doesn’t require many ingredients or much attention while cooking, and looks absolutely picturesque on your table.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Rinse your ham and pat dry.  Place on a rack in roasting pan. Insert meat thermometer reaching thickest point without touching the bone. Cover with foil.

Cooking times vary greatly depending on size so use a meat thermometer and cook until you have reached an internal temperature of 160 degrees F. You can take the ham out of the oven at 155 degrees F and it will continue to cook.

My future mother-in-law gave me a great meat thermometer as an early Christmas gift.  I highly recommend it!  It's a remote thermometer with a clip-on portable receiver to alert you when the meat is done.  Very convenient if you are trying get other things done.

You can score the ham before starting to cook or up until you add the glaze, about 30 minutes before it is done.  To score, slice ham through the fat layer only diagonally about an inch apart. Slice diagonally in the opposite direction creating diamonds and stud each one with a whole clove.

I made a glaze by reducing maple syrup, brown sugar, whole grain mustard, ground cinnamon, and grated nutmeg.

When the ham has about 30 minutes left, glaze and leave uncovered for the remainder of the cooking time.

When ham has reached 155 degrees F, remove from oven and let stand for 30 min to 2 hours before serving.

Do this ham justice and garnish a nice platter for serving.

Leftovers make great ham sandwiches or chop up and throw in an omelette for breakfast!

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