What’s Cooking: Baked Ham

Republished from Mar 29, 2013

Easter Ham photo 20HAM_SPAN-articleLarge_zps59ec90b5.jpg

Ham is salty. Whether its smoked or just fully cooked ham is salty. Since many people are trying to reduce the daily intake of salt, this is away to have your ham for Easter and eat your fill. I use chef Julia Child’s method to reduce the salt by boiling the ham first.

  • Remove all wrappings from the ham and wash it under cold water.
  • Place ham in a pot large enough to hold it and the boiling ingredients.

Add to the pot

  • 2 onions, pealed and quartered;
  • 2 carrots, cut in large chunks;
  • 12 parsley sprigs, 6 thyme sprigs, 1 bay leaf, 12 peppercorns, 3 cloves tied in cheesecloth to make a sachet d’épices.
  • Pour in one 750 ml. bottle of dry white wine and one quart of cold water.

Bring it to a boil skimming away any impurities off the top. Simmer 20 min per pound. Ham is done when internal temperature reaches 140ºF

Once cooked, removed from pot and let stand for 15 to 20 minutes before pealing away the skin, leaving the fat. With the tip of a very sharp knife, score the fat creating a diamond pattern. Keep warm by tenting with foil and a thick towel.

Pre-heat the oven to 450ºF

I don’t decorate the ham with anything, but I have used this recipe to glaze the ham while it bakes.


  • 1 cup of bourbon
  • 1 cup of cola, preferable Kosher Coke (no high fructose corn syrup)
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup dijon mustard
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme tied in cheesecloth to make a sachet d’épices

Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan, simmering gently to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the liquid until thick and syrupy and liquid coats the back of a wooden spoon.

Place the ham fat side up on a rack in a large roasting pan. Pour and brush the glaze over the ham. Place in the oven on the lower rack; roast 15 to 20 minutes until lightly browned. If using glaze, brush on more after first 10 minutes of cooking.  When done, remove from oven, tent with foil and a thick towel. Let stand for 20 to 30 minutes before slicing. If you have a slicer, each slice will be graced with that glorious glaze. It might be worth getting a slicer if you cook big amounts of meat often. For low cost meat slicer parts, National Band Saw manufactures meat slicer spare part replacements. Slicing with a knife can sometimes hack the meat which is not what you want.

You will be amazed at how tender and tasty this ham will be and nowhere near as salty.