Ham is an Easter Sunday staple and the gift that keeps on giving.
"The leftovers are good, hot or cold," Leisa Dent, co-owner and chef of L.L. Dent, the Southern-style restaurant in Carle Place, N,Y., said. "Ham and eggs for breakfast the next morning, ham sandwiches for lunch. And then I use the bone for pea soup."
A whole ham (that is, the entire hind leg of the pig) easily feeds 20 to 30 people. For a smaller gathering, Dent cooks the "shank" half, which serves 10 to 12.
Because a smoked ham has already been cooked, "cooking" it at home involves little more than putting it in the oven, brushing on the glaze and getting it hot. Dent makes it fancy by scoring the top and inserting cloves into the resulting diamond pattern. Ninety minutes later, the ham comes out of the oven fragrant, succulent of flesh and crisp of skin.
Ham with Jack Daniel's glaze
The ham will cook quicker and more evenly if it's at room temperature. Take it out of the refrigerator up to 2 hours before cooking. You also can use this glaze on a spiral-cut ham: Just follow the cooking instructions on the package.
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/4 cups Jack Daniel's (or other bourbon)
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup orange juice concentrate
1 shank-end cooked ham (7 to 9 pounds)
1. Combine sugar, Jack Daniel's, vinegar and orange juice concentrate in a saucepan. Bring to a boil; set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Score the top of the ham in a diamond pattern, making cuts 1/2 inch deep and an inch apart. In the middle of each diamond, insert a clove. Place ham in a roasting pan and cook until internal temperature reaches 140 degrees, about 11/2 hours. During the last half hour of cooking, baste the ham with the glaze every 10 minutes or so, reserving some of the glaze.
3. Let ham rest at least 30 minutes before serving. Brush with reserved glaze, then slice. Makes 10 to 12 servings.
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