Hannukah Ham

I realized that although I’ve referenced it several times, I never actually posted the Hanukkah Ham recipe here.

First, here is the original 2012 version.
It uses a store-bought spiral cut ham.


1/3 cup bourbon
1/3 cup orange juice
1/3 cup apple cider or pineapple juice
1 TB soy sauce
1 TB Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 TB black pepper
2 TB honey mustard
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 TB liquid smoke

2 TB molasses
1/4 C honey
1/4 C maple syrup
1/2 C brown sugar
4 TB butter

Cooking Liquid
reserved marinade 
orange juice
pineapple juice 
apple cider

Marinate overnight, drain and reserve marinade
Score ham 1″ apart, 1/2″ deep. Insert whole cloves at intersections.
Line bottom of crockpot with 1 sliced onion and 1 sliced orange
Put ham in pot, add some of the reserved marinade or fruit juice so it wont dry out
slather half of the glaze over the ham
cook for 4 hours on low, then add the rest of the glaze and cook another 4 hrs on low. Add liquid if too dry.

Instead of being too dry, all the extra liquid made it soggy, and gave the meat a mealy texture. A different attempt with slices of fresh pineapple had a similar effect.

This year I was pressed for time, so didn’t marinate in advance, and kept it simple.
Just unwrapped the ham, put it int the slower cooker, added a splash of apple cider to barely cover the bottom of the pan while it heated up, and seasoned with a few whole cloves, a bay leaf, 2 allspice berries, a dried red chile d’arbol, two whole cloves of garlic, and some black peppercorns. Then I sprinkled some brown sugar on top, and drizzled with honey and maple syrup.
Cooked for about 4 hours on high, or using the probe until center was 160F. By this time, the glaze had melted into the meat, which had yielded its liquid to make some nice pan juices. I removed the ham and set it aside to rest.
In a saucepan, melt 2 TB butter, then make a roux with 3 TB flour. Deglaze with a splash each of dark rum and bourbon. Strain the cooking juices and slowly add to roux to incorporate. Add some sharp honey mustard and some dry powdered mustard. Cook until thickened. If not sweet enough, add a splash of molasses and some more honey and/or maple syrup. It should be slightly tangy and a bit sweet. If too dry, add some more cider, and maybe a bit of cider vinegar and cayenne for extra punch. The goal is balance, and not too hot or spicy, with the sweetness coming through but not overpowering the smokiness of the meat.
Reslather with any remaining sauce.
When the meat is all done, use the bone to make a pot of beans.

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