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Bourbon Glazed, Cookie-Encrusted Ham

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© 2011 Helana Brigman
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I prefer my ham sweet, salty, and boozy.

Boozey? Yes, boozey.

Allow me to explain.  On Christmas morning, I was charged with preparing the holiday Ham.  I reached right for the Jim Beam, some brown sugar, and crushed ginger snaps.

Jim Beam and Ham? Certainly, for the meal at least.  But Jim Beam and Ham during the cooking process? Now that my fellow foodie is a boozey revelation.

Ham encrusted with ginger snaps a hard liquor and glazed with brown sugar glaze must be the world’s greatest secret when preparing a family-meal-size ham.  This concoction makes for a ham that is more along the lines of…sinful.  Sinfully good.

Plus, this ham was not without its boozy antics.  Feeling pretty proud of my cooking finesse, I gave Steven–an old family friend from way back when we were kids–instructions to carve the ham.  And carve it, he did.  He carved the whole thing.  The sight of Linda’s flailing hands and “oh my gosh! you didn’t have to carve the whole thing!” was enough to make Christmas morning just Christmasy enough.  Jim Beam, family antics, and ham.  Now that’s how I celebrate Christmas.

Bourbon Glazed, Cookie Encrusted Ham
Yield: 8 servings

This recipe for Bourbon Glazed, Cookie-Encrusted Ham comes from Alton Brown over at the Food Network.  I follow Alton’s version pretty closely with the exception of a pre-cooked ham.  I prefer buying pre-cooked, spiral-cut hams to save time and they are delicious.  Alton, however, suggests cooking an uncooked ham over a longer period of time.  For his variation, see here.


* 1 city style ham, brined & pre-cooked

* 1/4 cup brown mustard (i.e., Djon / Grey Poupon)

* 2 cups dark brown sugar

* 1 ounce bourbon (in bottle with spray attachment)

* 2 cups crushed ginger snaps

1.) Preheat oven to 350F.  Empty a box of ginger snaps into two heavy duty plastic ziploc bags.  Using a can (i.e., a can of peas), smash down the cookies until they are crumbs.  Make sure to remove any large pieces of cookies that you didn’t crush, or crush them down.

2.) Remove ham from plastic wrap and allow to drain.  Line a roasting pan with aluminum foil and place ham in pan cut-side down (don’t skip this step! otherwise, you’ll spend an eternity cleaning the pan).  Using a small pairing knife, cut cylindrical cuts so as to score ham from top to bottom.  Score entire ham from front to back.

3.) Using a paper towel, dab the entire ham dry from excess moisture.  Then, apply a heavy coat of brown mustard using a silicone brush (or, clean paint brush that has never touched paint).

4.) Sprinkle the entire surface of the ham with brown sugar making sure to pat onto the surface.

5.) Taking a clean, never used spray nozzle, attach it to your bottle of bourbon and spray 1 ounce bourbon on the surface of the brown sugar/brown mustard layer.  You’ll know you have enough when the layer is completely moist and the sugar appears candied.

6.) Sprinkle ham with cookie crumbs thoroughly and press crumbs into the ham to thoroughly coat.

7.) Tent ham with aluminum foil and place in oven.  Cook for 1 – 1 1/2 hours (check package for instructions), or until the internal temperature reaches 140F.  Remove ham from oven and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes.


Holiday ham

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