Is it really Easter without a ham on the dinner table?!
If we compare the two main types of holiday meat: ham on Easter and turkey on Thanksgiving, I think I would have to say that my favorite is ham!
I know it may seem like a large chunk of meat and that might seem really intimidating! Trust me, making a ham is the easiest thing in the world!
Well, that’s a lie. The easiest thing in the world is definitely eating the ham. But making it is the second easiest!
The first task at hand is buying the ham. Make sure you buy one that isn’t already glazed. Most hams will have a glaze packet that comes with them; we’re just going to throw that away! I like to buy a large ham because I love ham leftovers, but if you can only find a small one, this recipe works too! Also, a lot of hams come pre-sliced, so don’t worry about that part either! I prefer to buy the hams that are only smoked. So try to avoid the labels that mention brown sugar or any sweet adjectives!
You’ll notice there’s only a small about of brown sugar. I am not, personally, a fan of sweet hams. While I love mixing sweet and salty, that’s not really my jam with ham. So why add brown sugar at all then? Great question. The brown sugar adds a hint of sweetness that helps combat all the salt in the ham, but it also helps the edges and outside layer caramelize into a beautiful color.
I put a serving amount of cloves to complete the recipe, but I go clove-crazy when it comes to putting them in the ham. I love the spice of clove, so I add as much as I can while still making sure you can actually see the ham. I’ve made hams before with just the cloves to flavor them!
An 11-12 pound ham, precooked
1/3 cup of whole cloves
Zest of one orange
Juice of one orange
1 cup of water
1/4 cup of brown sugar
2 tablespoons of dijon mustard
A pinch of cayenne pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
While the oven preheats, add orange juice and zest to a pan with water, brown sugar, dijon mustard, and cayenne pepper.
Use a whisk to gently stir the sugar into the water. Cook on medium-high heat for about 5 minutes. Stirring occasionally to make sure the sugar melts into the juice and water.
Take the cloves and gently push them into the ham. I place mine about an inch and a half apart, over the whole ham. If you have any leftovers, add a few to the glaze mixture.
When the sugar is fully melted into the water and the glaze has thickened, pour half the mixture over the ham.
Place the ham in the oven and cook for two hours- two and half hours, until the ham is fully warmed through.
If you notice the ham start to get a little too dark on the edges, you can cover it with tin foil.
After the ham is done, pour the rest of the glaze on top.
Slice up and serve!
This ham is everything you want it to be: juicy, sweet, smokey, spicy… The list goes on and on about the wonderful qualities of this ham! It’s no wonder Easter is my favorite holiday with delicious food like this being served!