This is the BEST ham I have ever tasted. (This meal is so completely worthy of hyperbole; I've given up attempting to write this post without it.) I was completely stuffed after this meal and I could not stop snacking on little bites of ham as I was putting it away later. My husband and my boys could not get enough of this ham either. I had a whole list of meals planned to use up the remaining ham and I didn't make a single one of them! We just kept reheating and eating the ham on its own.
The balsamic and dijon glaze is a fantastic compliment to the ham. Just a few ingredients and almost no real effort will have a very impressive meal on the table. I can not imagine ever again using the package of glaze that comes with the ham from the store! I'm planning to make this same ham again for the whole family when we are together for Christmas this year.
Balsamic and Dijon Glazed Ham
recipe loosely adapted from Bon Appetit via Epicurious
1 8-10 lb ham shank, fully cooked
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, I used an excellent quality 18 year aged balsamic
1 1/2 tablespoons dijon mustard
Remove the ham from the refrigerator 1-2 hours before it needs to go into the oven. This will allow the meat to come a bit closer to room temperature before it goes into the oven.
Place the ham on a large cutting board and score the ham with cuts, 1/2" deep in a diamond pattern. If that sounds confusing, look down at the ham and start in a straight line from one end to the other making a 1/2" deep cut all the way across and over the top of the ham. Then repeat this cut, about an inch apart, slicing the ham from one side to the other. Then turn the ham 180 degrees and repeat, straight cuts, all the way across the ham. It should resemble a checkerboard when you are finished. This process allows the glaze to penetrate deeper into the ham. It is well-worth the effort and it only takes a few minutes.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a large roasting pan with foil and place the ham cut side down in the pan. Roast 45-50 minutes. While the ham begins roasting, combine the sugar, vinegar and mustard in a small cup or bowl. Set aside next to the stove.
Remove the ham from the oven and baste generously with the glaze, using about 1/4 of the glaze. Continue to roast the ham until it is deep brown and glazed, brushing the ham with more glaze every 10 minutes or so.
I roasted my 8 1/2 lb ham for 50 minutes, then basted it, 10 minutes more, basted again, 10 minutes more, basted it generously with all remaining glaze one last time and finished roasting it for 5 more minutes. An average of 10 minutes cooking time per lb of ham should be just right.
Transfer the ham to a large platter and let rest 10-15 minutes prior to slicing. Enjoy!
ONE YEAR AGO TODAY: Rustic Vegetable Beef Soup