A baked ham is classic Easter fare, and perfect for serving a crowd; it's just as delicious hot as it is at room temperature, so you can set it out on a buffet with biscuits (see tomorrow's post for a delicious, easy recipe!) and all the fixins. A sticky-sweet ham is a real crowd pleaser, making kids happy as well as grown-ups, and it's just as well suited to brunch as it is to a fancy dinner.
When shopping, look for a cured, ready to eat bone-in ham - it may be called a picnic ham, or a shank or butt end. (A spiral cut ham is already thinly sliced, which makes it easy to serve, but it also tends to dry out in the oven.) All are inexpensive options for feeding a large group of people, and will provide very usable leftovers.
Perhaps best of all, a cured ham needs only to be heated through - there's no danger of it overcooking and drying out, like there can be with a turkey. Brush it with glaze toward the end of the cooking time, so that it has a chance to get dark and glossy without burning. And enjoy the leftovers! Leftover ham is one of the very best kinds - perfect for adding to soups, pastas, sandwiches, or mac & cheese. We'll send some recipes your way after Easter weekend!
Sticky Rosemary Balsamic Easter Ham
4-5 lb ham, bone in
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp. grainy mustard
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary
Preheat your oven to 375F.
Place the ham in a baking dish that will accomodate it. If it has a layer of fat on top, score it deeply with a sharp knife. Cover with a lid or aluminum foil and bake for an hour.
Meanwhile, stir together the brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, mustard and rosemary in a small dish. Uncover the ham and brush it all over with the balsamic mixture, then return it to the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour, basting or brushing occasionally with the pan drippings, until cooked through and sticky. Let rest on a carving board for about 5 minutes before carving. Serves 10-15.