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This recipe is only 5 ingredients – it couldn’t be any easier.
Ham usually comes in a couple different sizes, a whole ham (like this one here) half-ham or ham steaks. What they do have in common, is that they’re all fully cooked already. What you are really doing is warming up the ham. The best way to do this is low and slow in the oven, then brushing on a glaze and returning it back to the oven at high heat to caramelize.
When you’re buying ham, look for “Ham with Natural Juices” or just plain ‘ol “Ham.” There are several grades of ham, and it all has to do with how much water is injected (which keeps it moist). Ham labeled “with water added” or “ham and water product” in the lower quality, and and it’s something that I don’t recommend.
There’s so much water added to the ham that it becomes tasteless and its texture spongy. Spongy ham is not good eats, especially for celebrating Easter. Here’s a good article about the ham grades.
Surprisingly, ham is incredibly cheap when you purchase it whole or half. This 11 pound ham was only $31.00 and it will feed 20 people.
Of course, if you aren’t feeding an army, buy a smaller ham, like the semi-bonless half ham and follow the recipe, just changing your oven time (15 minutes per pound)
The first step is to remove the plastic surrounding the ham. I’m not just talking about the plastic bag either, look carefully and sometimes you’ll see a very thin membrane-ish layer that can be easy to miss.
Then use your knife to score the surface of the ham all the way around in diagonal lines, about 2-inches apart.
Then score the other way, opposite direction. Basically, you’re making diamond-shaped scores to a) make it look pretty once it’s cooked b) help release some of its fat c) allow the glaze to stick to the ham
Place the whole thing in a big roasting pan. Make sure that the roasting pan isn’t too big.
Pour in 1 1/2 cups of cola and 1 1/2 cups of grape juice. See how because the pan isn’t too much bigger than the ham itself, the cola/juice is able to go up about 1-inch in the pan. This is important – if the pan is too big and shallow, all of the cola/juice will evaporate off.
Cover with tin foil. Place it into an oven at 275F, 15 minutes per pound.
While the ham is baking, let’s make the Cola-Pineapple Glaze. 2 cups brown sugar:
1 cup cola and 1 cup grape juice.
Juice from the can of the sliced pineapple. We actually will be only using the sweet pineapple JUICE from the can. Use the pineapple fruit in another dish. Or, uh, you could just buy pineapple juice.
Simmer until you get a nice thick, sweet glaze, about 20 minutes.
It should look like this and coat a spoon nicely.
When the ham is done – uncover it and you’ll see the pretty diamond scores we made.
Brush on the glaze all over and crank the oven to super hot 425F.
Pop it back in the oven for 15 minutes which will allow all the sugar to caramelize – oh baby look at that ham!
Very pretty, very Easter-worthy centerpiece.
Rest the ham for 15 minutes or so. In the meantime, you can return the glaze to stove to warm up.
Slice the ham — beautiful.
Perfect pink. Low ‘n Slow will guarantee you moist, tender perfect Easter ham.
So, with 5 ingredients and about $40, you can feed 22 people. Or just feed 4 people and have a ton of leftovers for the rest of the year 😉
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes per pound
Feel free to use a full ham or half ham in this recipe - the timing - 15 minutes per pound still applies.
Let the ham stand at room temperature for 90 minutes.
Preheat oven to 275 degrees F. Set the rack at the lowest position. Rinse and pat dry the ham. Using a sharp knife, score the skin of the ham in a criss-cross pattern. Place ham in a roasting pan. Pour just 1 1/2 cups of the cola and 1 1/2 cups of grape juice into the pan and add additional water if necessary to bring the liquid level to 1/2 inch. Cover the pan tightly with tin foil. Roast in oven for 2 3/4 to 3 hours (about 15 minutes per pound) or until the internal temperature of the ham reaches 100 degrees F.
While the ham is cooking, prepare the glaze. Combine the remaining 1 cup grape juice, 1 cup cola, the juice from the pineapple (reserve the pineapple slices for later) and the brown sugar in a small sauce pot and simmer on low for 20 minutes, until it becomes thick and glossy. Let stand at room temperature until ready to use (as the glaze cools, it will thicken up, making it easier to brush on the ham).
Take the ham out of the oven when it reaches the first internal temperature of 100 degrees F. Turn the oven to 425
degrees F. Brush the ham with about 1/4 of the glaze all over. Use toothpicks to stud the ham with the sliced pineapple, if desired. Once the oven comes to temperature, return the ham, uncovered to oven. Bake for 15 minutes until the liquid is bubbly and the ham has turned to a nice, deep golden brown. The internal temperature of the ham should be 140 degrees F.
Remove ham to a cutting board and let rest for 15 minutes.
Return the remaining glaze to the stove on medium-low heat to warm the glaze up for serving. Carve and slice the ham, drizzle a bit of the cola glaze on each plate.
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