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04/24/2011

~ "A, B, C", That's as Easy as Easter Ham Can Be! ~

6a0120a8551282970b01538e17e98c970b-800wiIt is Easter Sunday and when I think of Easter I think of ham.  I'm fifty-five years old and I've never spent an Easter Sunday without ham on the table.  I'm pretty sure that even when I was a babe in arms someone was mashing up ham on Easter Sunday and feeding it to me!

IMG_6206Happy Easter!  Ham it up w/my foolproof recipe!!!

6a0120a8551282970b014e880406bf970d-800wiHam was something my grandmother and mother always made and I never gave it much thought until I got married and had to start making it myself.  If you've never shopped for or prepared a ham before, it can be a very confusing, intimidating and downright shocking experience!  

Don't expect to just saunter into the grocery store and say "I'd like one ham please". There are so many different brands, types and cuts of ham, in order to make the right choice, you must be armed with the right information.  To take the mystery out of it for you, yesterday I posted a guide for ~ Handling Ham(s):  Choose What's Right for You ~, which you can read in Category 15.

Today I am posting my tried-and-true, absolute favorite, really easy recipe for preparing ham... did I forget to mention it is also foolproof?  This is simply (literally simple) the best method for baking ham I have ever encountered, and here at Kitchen Encounters I have encountered a lot of methods.  It is moist, flavorful and slices beautifully.  Everytime I serve it, someone asks how I "do" it.  My reply is, " It's as easy as A, B, C (allspice, bay leaves and cloves)!"

PICT18451  Fully-Cooked, Bone-In, Whole, Fresh/Uncured or Cured, Smoked Ham, 14-18 pounds.  This is a 14-pound fresh/uncured smoked ham.)

Water

16  Whole Allspice

8  Whole Bay Leaves

16  Whole Cloves

PICT1852 ~ Step 1.  Place the allspice, bay leaves and cloves in a large roasting pan and add about 1/2" of water.  Place the roasting rack in the pan and place the ham on the rack.  Tightly cover and seal the pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil.  If the foil rips or tears, start over. There can be no air holes in the foil.

PICT1864 ~ Step 2.  Bake on lower third of preheated 350 degree oven 12 minutes per pound.  No matter what size the ham is, 14-20 pounds, cook it for 12 minutes per pound.

Remove from oven and let rest, 1-8 hours prior to slicing and serving hot, warm or at room temperature. Do not remove or break the foil seal during this rest period.  To serve the ham cold: after the rest period, remove the foil, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate ovenight.

PICT1876 ~ Step 3.  Transfer the ham from the pan to a large carving board.  Begin slicing, across the grain, into slices of desired thickness.  I think ham tastes best when sliced thin.

PICT1901

 

 

 

~ Step 4.  Continue slicing, following the line of the ham and working your way around the bone. This can be intimidating at first, but, once you cut a few slices, you'll see just how easy it is.  As I slice, I place the pretty slices on a platter and set bits, pieces and chunks aside on the carving board.  I store those in the refrigerator (sometimes I pop them in the freezer), along with the bone, to make ham and bean soup!

Click on the Related Article links below to get a few of my other "ham it up" ideas!

IMG_6200"A, B, C", That's as Easy as Easter Ham Can Be!:  Recipe yields 12-24 servings, depending upon the size of the ham.

Special Equipment List:  large roasting pan w/roasting rack insert; heavy-duty aluminum foil; large carving board; carving knife or chef's knife; carving fork

Potatoes Gratin #1-a (Intro Picture Closeup)Cook's Note:  Wrap leftovers in the refrigerator and store in the refrigerator for up to one week.  My flavorful ham is fantastic in omelettes for breakfast, grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch or chopped into dinner casseroles, not to mention my recipe for ~ A Hearty Fifteen Bean Ham & Vegetable Soup ~ found in Categories 2 & 22!

Extra Cook's Note:  For a super-wonderful accompaniment to my tender and moist ham, try my recipe for ~ Perfect Potatoes au Gratin (Scalloped Potatoes) ~, found in Category 4!

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2011)

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