Saturday, October 12, 2013

Hammin' It Up For Dinner

Skyrocketing beef prices ($2.89 to $6.99 a pound) are limiting the types of meat  I buy for my carnivorous family. This month, glorious, porky ham is $1.49 a pound. I bought a nine pounder and brought it home. Tonight, ham is the star of our dinner.

My dinner production is going to begin with baking a fully-cooked, spiral-sliced ham. In the supporting roles will be mashed potatoes, home made gravy, and glazed baby carrots. Sound yummy doesn't it?

Baking a Fully-Cooked Ham

Heating a precooked ham is easy. Bake it at 250 degrees Fahrenheit for 12-15 minutes per pound.
  • An eight pound ham will take approximately 1.5 hours to bake.
  • A ten pound ham will take approximately 120 minutes or 2 hours.
Cover the ham with aluminum foil. Remove the foil for the last 30 minutes of baking. Apply your glaze.

Glazing a Fully-Cooked Ham

What is a glaze? A glaze is simply a coating that is applied to the ham to make it look more appealing. My favorite glaze is brown sugar and orange juice. The sweetness balances very nicely with the saltiness of the ham.

1 cup brown sugar
4 Tablespoons orange juice

  • Blend the two ingredients in a glass bowl.
  • Microwave for 1 minute. Stir the glaze. If the sugar is melted and syrupy, you are ready to apply it to the ham. If it is not melted and syrupy, microwave for an additional 30 seconds.
  •  Sugar heats to a high temperature very quickly. Be careful not to get it too hot.
  • Brush or spoon the glaze onto the ham for the last 20-30 minutes of baking.
  • Reapply the glaze again about 10-15 minutes before the ham is done baking.  
Yield: This is enough for an 8-10 pound ham.
Double the recipe for larger hams.

Variation: Pineapple juice can be used in place of the orange juice.

What About the Leftover Ham?

  • Dice leftover ham. Package in 1/4 cup portions for use in omelets. Package 1/2 - 1 cup portions for use in mac and cheese, scalloped potatoes, rice, or hash.
  • Slice thinly and pack in 1 pound packages. Use for sandwiches and or freeze for future meals.
  • Finely chop ham and make ham salad.