This Christmas, since we stayed here in sunny L.A. and did things a bit more untraditional, I thought I would try and do a more traditional Christmas ham dinner. It was a weird and sad holiday indeed being here without my family. Mike and I slept in, made bloody mary’s with stuff my dad sent us from Indiana, Mike made chilaquiles, we took Luna to the dog park, and ended the evening with dinner, wine, friends, and a fire. Although it was 75 degrees here that day and we had on shorts and sandals, I still missed celebrating the traditional way…
My family makes a ham and a deep fried turkey every Christmas and no matter what, my step mom always makes this baked pineapple dish that everyone loves…including me. So that was the inspiration for our menu. We had ham, the baked pineapple, roasted brussels sprouts with bacon, and creamy mashed potatoes. I knew I wanted to make some sort of glaze for the ham so made this one up based on some stuff we had in the fridge. It was super flavorful and took on a bit of an Asian flavor from the star anise. I think I will try the glaze again on a pork tenderloin or something. I didn’t take many photos of the dishes in their final stages or the plating of them for some reason…(blame it on the vino) but you get the idea. For this being our first ham, I’d say it came out OK! Hope you all had a great Xmas and have an even more amazing New Year!!!
Cranberry Pomegranate Glazed Ham:
- 10 lb. ham (ours was fully cooked, and we did not need one that big!!!)
- large handful of cloves (for ham and a couple for the glaze)
- 1 bag fresh cranberries
- 2 cups pomegranate juice
- 1/4 cup orange liqueur
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 1/2 cup honey
- 3-4 large tablespoons mustard (we used a brown sugar bourbon one our friend made us)
- cinnamon stick
- star anise pod
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. To prep ham, remove all but about 1/4-inch of the fat. Pierce ham all over with a knife and insert whole cloves into the piercings until ham is covered all over. (If you don’t love the taste of cloves, you can omit this step. I learned this from my mama:) Set ham aside and work on the glaze.
In a large saucepan, add cranberries, pom juice, orange liqueur, brown sugar, honey, mustard, a few cloves, cinnamon stick, and star anise pod. Bring to a boil and simmer until cranberries break down and it reduces and become thick and syrupy. You may need to adjust a few of the ingredients to your liking like adding more sugar for sweet or more acid for sour. Once thickened, let cool a bit, remove cloves, cinnamon stick, and anise pod. Blend mixture or push through a sieve and return back to the pan and continue to simmer until ready to use. Season with a bit of salt and pepper.
Brush glaze over ham and place ham in the oven for about an hour and a half. If the ham is labeled ‘fully cooked’, heat for 8 to 10 minutes per pound, or to an internal temperature of 140°F. About half way through, pull the ham out and reglaze. Once done, the glaze will be brown, sweet, and delicious. Slice ham and serve with leftover glaze.
Baked Pineapple Casserole:
- 1 large can pineapple chunks (undrained)
- 4 cups white bread torn into small pieces
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
- 3/4 stick of butter cut into tiny pieces
- bit of nutmeg
- bit of cinnamon
Mix all ingredients together and put into a prepared baking dish and bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees until it is set and top is browned. It is so yummy, easy, and goes perfect with ham!