Thursday, April 21, 2011

Whitsun Ham with Cherry Sauce

(AKA the moistest ham you'll ever taste and the perfect recipe to grace your Easter dinner table.)

I just love making ham because it is extremely easy, looks beautiful, and the leftovers can be made into so many different things (ham salad, omelets, soup, sandwiches, etc). If you have been asked to host Easter this year and are intimidated by making a ham, please let me ease your mind.  It really is one of the simplest meats you can prepare!  The Whitsun makes the meat so tender and moist, and lends just a hint of citrus flavor that complements the cherry sauce perfectly.  I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as Seth and I do!

For this recipe you will need:

1 bone-in fully cooked ham, about 9 pounds
2 bottles Arcadia Whitsun Ale

2 tablespoons honey
2/3 cup cherry preserves
½ teaspoon ground cloves
1/3 cup dried cherries

Cornstarch (about 1 tablespoon)
Water (about 2 tablespoons)

Remove ham from refrigerator 1 hour before baking. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Place ham in a large roasting pan and pour beer over it. Cover and bake 1 hour.

Prepare glaze: While ham is baking, combine honey, cherry preserves and ground cloves in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir until preserves have melted and glaze is smooth. Stir in dried cherries.

Try to look at that little jar of honey and not say "Aww!".

After cooking the ham for a little more than an hour, baste with pan juices and spoon about half of the glaze over the ham, cover and continue cooking 20 minutes. Spoon remaining glaze over the ham, and cook until necessary internal temperature is reached on a meat thermometer.*

Prepare sauce: Remove ham from the pan to a cutting board and cover with foil for 15 minutes. Bring the pan juices to a simmer over two burners. Dissolve cornstarch in cold water and slowly whisk into liquid and cook about 3 to 5 minutes to thicken. Transfer to a bowl and serve with the sliced ham.

*The internal temperature of a cooked ham that was vacuum-packed should read 140 degrees on a food thermometer.  If the cooked ham was not vacuum-packed, cook to an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

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