I’ll be the first to admit that our family isn’t usually crazy over ham. During the holidays, we opt for turkey over ham; a big ol’ ham isn’t something we gravitate to. However, years ago, my girlfriend showed up at a holiday party with a standout Honey Baked Ham that got my attention. The only homemade ham I’ve ever liked!
That was neons ago. These days, I’ll do baked ham about once a year, usually for big gatherings. Perfect for Easter, coming right up. This ham is always the one and only recipe that I use, adapted from my friend’s original recipe. It never fails to impress, and I usually get hit up for the recipe as well.
Just look at the golden brown goodness. Courtesy of brown sugar, country style mustard, all dripping with honey. Non-ham eaters may think twice, with this guy on the table.
I’m convinced one reason for ham’s popularity is that it’s super easy to prepare and can feed a crowd. This Honey Baked Ham tastes like you’ve spent much more time on it than you really did. Be sure to get the spiral sliced ham if you want ease of slicing; plus, the juices really sink in with the pre-sliced ham cooking in the oven. Enjoy it!
Fully cooked, spiral-sliced ham (4-5 lbs)
1 cup good apple cider
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup coarse ground mustard (the kind with whole mustard seeds in it)
1/4 cup honey
Heat oven to 350F with rack on lower position.
Mix together apple cider, brown sugar, mustard, and honey in a bowl. Mix well to fully incorporate basting sauce.
Place ham in a 13×9 baking dish. Coat ham with a generous amount of sauce. Bake for 60-70 minutes, basting thoroughly every 15 minutes.
To serve pre-cut slices, arrange slices neatly on a serving dish and brush leftover sauce all over ham slices and serve. If serving ham whole, be sure to have leftover sauce available for drizzling. The sauce is what makes this ham so great!
*Note: This sauce is more of a thin au jus consistency, rather than a thick gravy texture. If you prefer your sauce to be thicker, simply thicken it by bringing leftover sauce to a low boil. Dissolve a bit of cornstarch (start with 1-2 tsp) in a little bit of water (about 1-2 tsp) and add dissolved cornstarch to the boiling sauce. Stir constantly until sauce is thickened to your liking. If you still want it thicker, add more dissolved cornstarch. (Never add undissolved cornstarch directly to any boiling sauce, or it will become clumpy.)
Source: Chew Out Loud, adapted from my old friend Janice.