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Honey Baked Ham

Step into the realm of culinary delight as we unravel the secrets to crafting the perfect centerpiece for your festive table—the Homemade Honey Baked Ham. This timeless recipe transforms a simple ham into a symphony of flavors, combining the savory richness of ham with the sweet, caramelized embrace of honey. Get ready to embark on a culinary journey that promises to fill your home with the aroma of a holiday feast and create memories that linger long after the last bite.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bone-in ham (8-10 pounds)
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup whole-grain mustard
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions:

  1. Preheat and Prep: Preheat your oven to 325°F (163°C). Ensure the ham is at room temperature. If it’s refrigerated, allow it to sit out for about 1-2 hours before cooking.
  2. Score the Ham: Using a sharp knife, score the surface of the ham in a diamond pattern, about 1/4-inch deep. This allows the glaze to penetrate and infuse flavor into the meat.
  3. Glaze Preparation: In a saucepan over medium heat, combine honey, brown sugar, Dijon mustard, whole-grain mustard, apple cider vinegar, ground cloves, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, ground allspice, and black pepper. Stir until the mixture is well combined and the sugar has dissolved.
  4. Glaze the Ham: Brush a generous amount of the honey glaze over the entire surface of the scored ham, ensuring it gets into the cuts. Reserve some of the glaze for basting during the cooking process.
  5. Bake to Perfection: Place the ham in a roasting pan and cover it with foil. Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 15-20 minutes per pound, or until the internal temperature reaches 140°F (60°C). Baste the ham with the reserved glaze every 30 minutes for an extra layer of flavor.
  6. Caramelized Glory: For the last 15-20 minutes of cooking, uncover the ham to allow the glaze to caramelize and create a beautiful, golden crust. Keep a close eye to prevent burning.
  7. Rest and Serve: Once cooked, let the ham rest for about 15 minutes before carving. This allows the juices to redistribute, ensuring a moist and flavorful result. Carve and serve, drizzling any remaining glaze over the slices.

Cook Notes:

  • For added depth of flavor, consider marinating the ham in the glaze for a few hours or overnight in the refrigerator before baking.
  • If the ham starts to brown too quickly during baking, tent it with foil to prevent excessive caramelization.

Variations:

  1. Citrus Infusion: Add a zesty twist by incorporating orange or pineapple juice into the glaze for a bright, citrusy flavor.
  2. Herb Elegance: Enhance the glaze with fresh herbs like thyme or rosemary for a fragrant and herbaceous note.

Serving Suggestions:

  1. Festive Sidekick: Pair the Homemade Honey Baked Ham with classic holiday sides like mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, and cranberry sauce.
  2. Sandwich Spectacle: Enjoy leftover ham in sandwiches with mustard, arugula, and a touch of honey for a delightful post-holiday treat.

Make-Ahead Tips:

  1. Prep Ahead: You can prepare the glaze a day in advance and store it in the refrigerator. Bring it to room temperature before brushing it onto the ham.

Keto and Low-Carb Options:

  1. Sugar-Free Swaps: Substitute honey and brown sugar with sugar-free alternatives like erythritol or a sugar-free honey substitute.
  2. Lean Cuts: Opt for a leaner cut of ham to reduce overall carb content.

The Homemade Honey Baked Ham is more than just a dish; it’s a culinary masterpiece that brings people together, creating moments of joy and shared delight. As you savor each slice, relish in the perfect balance of savory and sweet, the tender texture, and the aromatic spices that envelop the ham. This recipe invites you to infuse your holiday gatherings with the warmth of a lovingly prepared meal, making it a cherished tradition for years to come. So, embrace the art of cooking, gather your loved ones, and let the sweet symphony of the Homemade Honey Baked Ham become the centerpiece of your festive celebrations.

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