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Sticky Rosemary Balsamic Easter Ham

Ham, mashed potatoes and veg on a plate

Baked ham is classic Easter fare. It’s just as delicious hot as it is at room temperature, so you can set it out on a buffet with biscuits and all the fixins.

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.


4-5 lb ham, bone-in
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp. grainy mustard
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary


Preheat 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.

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!

Originally published in March 2013.

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