In honor of the holiday weekend, I thought I’d re-share my favorite Easter recipe: my Apricot and Bourbon Glazed Ham, known lovingly around the Beals household as The Easter Piggy. I have made Mr. Piggy every Easter since we moved into the Little House (which was FOUR YEARS AGO as of yesterday!) and will probably continue to make him as long as Kroger puts hams on sale for Easter. Isn’t he beautiful? Give him a try this weekend. I promise you won’t be disappointed!
1 cooked bone-in ham (about 10-ish lbs, I prefer shank end)
1 1/2 c. water
1 c. apricot preserves (you could also use fig or apple)
1/2 c. Dijon mustard (the smooth kind, you don’t want mustard seed bits on your Piggy!)
1/2 c. apple cider vinegar
1/4 c. bourbon (more or less to taste, I prefer a local whiskey made in Ft. Worth (TX Blended Whiskey), but use what you have)
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. You want Mr. Piggy to be nice and toasty, but not too hot.
- Skin your piggy. More than likely, Mr. Piggy came with some nice, leathery skin attached. You want to remove the skin. Trust me when I say this though: LEAVE THE FAT. Yes, fat can be bad. Yes, you shouldn’t eat too much of it. Think of this as good fat. Good self-basting-piggy-goodness fat. If you go ahead and cut that fat off you’ll be left with a dry, sad Mr. Piggy and no one wants that.
- Score! The fat that is. Lightly run your knife across Mr. Piggy creating a diamond pattern in his fat. This will allow the glaze to penetrate into the meat. BE CAREFUL! Mr. Piggy can be slippery, so score carefully (that’s what she said??).
- Prepare the piggy sauna. Place Mr. Piggy (cut side down) in a roasting pan (a disposable foil one is just fine). Add the water and cover tightly with foil. Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes.
- While Mr. Piggy is in the
saunaoven, prepare your glaze. Add all the remaining ingredients to a sauce pan over medium-low heat. Let this come to a boil and simmer for about 5 minutes. Be sure to stir often! There is a lot of sugar in this glaze and it can burn/boil over easily. When in doubt, turn the heat down. When the glaze has thinned out and most of the alcohol has cooked out (you won’t smell it anymore), set aside about 1/4 cup of the glaze for later.
- After Mr. Piggy has finished his first stint in the
saunaoven, remove him and apply the glaze. Be sure to get the glaze into all Mr. Piggy’s nooks and crannies. He likes it that way. Put him back into the oven (no foil this time).
- Baste with the glaze about every 10 minutes until Mr. Piggy’s internal temperature is 140 F (yeah, he’s hot). Do this with a probe thermometer. Don’t have one? Get one. They’re about $10 and worth every penny. Not only do then ensure that your food is a safe temperature, but people will marvel at your cooking skills when you serve them perfectly done meat. Did you go to culinary school? No. You can read a thermometer. (TIP: take meat off the heat about 5-10 degrees below the suggested temperature. It will continue to cook for several minutes after you remove it, so if you wait until the suggested temp, it will overcook before you can serve it).
- WAIT!!!! This is quite possibly the most important and hardest step in the whole recipe. Mr. Piggy has been through a lot today. He needs a rest. Give him 5-10 minutes under a foil blankie (you can reuse the foil from the sauna step). Resting the meat will allow it to reabsorb all of the tasty juices we’ve worked so hard to get in there. Cut Mr. Piggy right away and all that tasty goodness will run out all over your cutting board. I know he’s gorgeous. I know your kitchen smells like piggy heaven. But seriously, it’s worth it. Just wait.
- While you’re giving Mr. Piggy a rest, take a look at your baking pan. Chances are there are some yummy looking juices hanging out down there. Combine these juices and your reserved glaze in a pan and bring to a simmer, stirring often, until reduced by about half for a great gravy.
- Slice Mr. Piggy, serve with a couple sides, and Viola!
A good sized ham will feed an entire crowd if you’ve got one. If you don’t, you can nosh on Mr. Piggy leftover for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Our quiche recipe is one of our favorite ways to use the leftover. Just add some chunked ham in with the onions and spinach and enjoy!
Oh, and don’t throw out the bone! Wrap it in cellophane and foil and throw that bad boy in the freezer. I’ll be sharing my red beans and rice recipe soon and you’ll need that bone to try it out!
Have a wonderful Easter!
He is Risen!