The Easiest Way To Cook A Delicious Christmas Ham

Ham is the easiest, see? Here are step-by-step instructions plus dishes to serve alongside.

1. So you want to cook a ham. Good idea. It’s going to be great.

ID: 747042

2. First step: Gather your ingredients.

ID: 745429

You will need:
1/2 cup whole-grain mustard
3 Tbsp. honey
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup bourbon
1 5-8 pound half ham, butt portion, can be sliced or not

ID: 747247

4. Score your ham.

Thin cuts all over the surface will help your ham absorb its glaze.

ID: 745445

5. If it looks like this, you’re winning so far.

ID: 745434

6. Make this simple but seriously awesome glaze.

Just mix together the whole-grain mustard, honey, nutmeg, and cloves.

ID: 745456

7. Pour it on your ham.

ID: 745470

8. And use your hands to distribute evenly.

This is not a time to be coy with your ham. Get in there.

ID: 745478

9. Pack a layer of brown sugar.

A cup of brown sugar, to be exact — press all over to make sure it adheres.

ID: 745485

10. Sprinkle on some bourbon.

Use about a 1/4 cup. You can sprinkle it OR you can get fancy and put it in a spray bottle and mist your ham like it’s having a spa day.

ID: 745493

11. Bake the ham, uncovered, in a 300 degree oven for 20 minutes per pound. Baste occasionally.

Basting means taking the sauce that accumulates in the bottom of the pan and spooning it back over the mean to incorporate that flavor.

ID: 745499

12. Then use the ham drippings (aka what’s left in the pan) to make a sauce!

Strain ham drippings, and heat ham stock in a small saucepan over medium heat to boiling. Add 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard, 1/4 cup brown sugar, pinches of nutmeg and ground cloves, and cook until thickened. Let your guests douse their own ham with sauce. This is a personal thing.

ID: 745501

Here’s the full recipe all together.

Serves 8

For cooking ham:

1/2 cup whole-grain mustard
3 Tbsp. honey
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup bourbon
1 5-8 pound half ham, butt portion, can be sliced or not

For sauce:

1 1/2 cup ham drippings or stock
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/4 cup brown sugar
Pinches of nutmeg
Pinches ground cloves

Score ham in a diamond pattern to 1/4-inch deep (if not sliced). Place ham on rack in roasting pan.

Blend mustard, honey, nutmeg, and cloves.

Using your hands, smear mustard mixture all over surface of ham.

Again using hands, pack brown sugar all over exterior of ham, pressing to be certain it adheres.

Put bourbon in a spray bottle, and mist brown sugar coating to barely moisten. You may not use the entire 1/4 cup. Alternatively, sprinkle your bourbon over the ham.

Bake ham, uncovered, in 300-degree oven for 20 minutes per pound, basting a few times during cooking.

Strain ham drippings, skim as much fat as you wish, and add ham stock to make 1 1/2 cups. Heat in small saucepan over medium heat to boiling. Add brown sugar and spices; cook until thickened and serve over ham at table.

Print the recipe at Food52

ID: 745402

13. It’s going to taste so good.

ID: 745385

14. BUT FIRST: Your ham deserves a beverage (as do you), and you have some leftover bourbon.

This scenario calls for a punch.

ID: 745773

15. Your ham should get an introduction. Southern sherried shrimp will do nicely.

ID: 747161

16. And/or a few deviled eggs.

ID: 747065

17. You know what’s pretty good with ham? BISCUITS.

ID: 745520

18. Cut that ham fat with a little salad.

ID: 745667

19. See now you’ve earned some crispy, cheesy potatoes.

ID: 745677

20. Mmmmm collards.

ID: 747068

21. Maybe your ham deserves a side of cornbread pudding.

ID: 747080

22. …and pomegranate roasted carrots.

ID: 747075

23. No matter what happens, please do not deprive your ham party of a proper pie.

ID: 747071

Food52 is a community for people who love food and cooking. Follow them at and on Twitter @Food52. Or, get answers to your burning food questions with our new (free!) FOOD52 Hotline iPhone app.

ID: 747157

Check out more articles on!

  Your Reaction?


    Now Buzzing