Let’s face it, Thanksgiving is all about the meat.
So is Sunday dinner. But’s it’s mid-November, so we’re in Thanksgiving mode.
If you’re like me, and are just a little terrible at the whole cooking of the meat thing, then a ham is for you!
Baking a ham is just about the easiest thing you can do in the kitchen.
I considered going the roasted turkey route for Thanksgiving this year, but kids, ham is:
1) cheaper than a turkey
2) ridiculously easier than a turkey
3) way more options for leftover ham vs. leftover turkey. One can only eat so many turkey sandwiches. But you can make ham quiche, ham & eggs, ham mac & cheese, green beans with a hunk of ham, ham pizza, ham soup, ham chili, do I need to go on?
So the trick to this whole easy-as-ham thing is all in purchasing the correct hunk of meat, namely, the fully cooked one.
This will save you hours of baking time, and ensure you won’t give anyone the gift of botulism.
You want to look for a 5-6 lb. ham. All of the fully cooked ones in my local grocery were in this range and were about $17. The totally raw ham was twice the size and $41. Factor in the extra ingredients and the additional energy to cook the ham….and you’re saving a butt load of cash.
For this ham, you’ll need:
- 5-6 lb. fully cooked ham
- 20ish whole cloves
- orange (for zesting)
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 4 t cornstarch
- 1 1/2 t dry mustard
Okay, so remove the plastic wrapping on the ham and grab a sharp knife. I used my trusty extra-sharp bread knife. the serrated edge bit nicely into the meat.
You’re going to score the ham’s exterior in a diamond pattern. Don’t cut too deep.
Now grab those whole cloves.
Stick 1 clove in every corner of the diamonds you just cut.
Now that’s a studly ham.
Sorry. I couldn’t stop it from coming out.
Ok, put your (studly) ham on a wire rack in a baking pan. I like to line my pan with foil for easier clean-up.
Bake at 325 for about an hour and a half before brushing on the glaze (below). You brush on the glaze in the last 20 minutes of baking, because if you do it earlier, it will burn, instead of giving the ham a nice crusty exterior.
Next step is to make the glaze. You don’t need it for another hour and a half, so if you want to go watch another episode of New Girl, now is the time.
Zest the orange until you have approximately 2 teaspoons of zest. No need to be precise.
Now add the cup of orange juice and half cup of brown sugar.
Now add the 4 t cornstarch and 1 1/2 t dry mustard.
Now whisk it all together and either set it aside or if it’s time then brush it on that gorgeous hunk of meat.
The Ham & the Glaze
Remove the ham from the oven, and brush with the glaze.
Make sure you get in all of the tiny cracks and crevices. You can either use all of the glaze of reserve some for serving.
Let the ham bake another 20 minutes or so, then remove from the oven.
Look at that!
Now pluck out all of the cloves. They’ve done their job.
Put the ham on a cutting board.
Slice the ham. It’s really easy–just make sure it’s cool enough to put your hand on it.
Save the ham bone for future soups, stock, etc. You never know when you need a good ham bone.
And there you go! Sliced, glazed ham, for less than half the price of one from the store that bakes them with honey…
suck it, martha.