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    Posted on Dec 12, 2012

    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.

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

    First step: Gather your ingredients.

    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

    Score your ham.

    Via food52.com

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

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

    Make this simple but seriously awesome glaze.

    Via food52.com

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

    Pour it on your ham.

    And use your hands to distribute evenly.

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

    Pack a layer of brown sugar.

    Via food52.com

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

    Sprinkle on some bourbon.

    Via food52.com

    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.

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

    Via food52.com

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

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

    Via food52.com

    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.

    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

    It's going to taste so good.

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

    d2k9njawademcf.cloudfront.net / Via food52.com

    This scenario calls for a punch.

    Get the recipe at Food52

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

    Get the recipe at Food52

    And/or a few deviled eggs.

    Get the recipe at Food52

    You know what's pretty good with ham? BISCUITS.

    Get the recipe at Food52

    Cut that ham fat with a little salad.

    Get the recipe at Food52

    See now you've earned some crispy, cheesy potatoes.

    Get the recipe at Food52

    Mmmmm collards.

    Get the recipe at Food52

    Maybe your ham deserves a side of cornbread pudding.

    Get the recipe at Food52

    ...and pomegranate roasted carrots.

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

    Get the recipe at Food52

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