By Richard Thomas
A glazed ham is a feature of many feasts and special occasions, and one way to give your store-bought ham a homemade twist is to sauce it up with maple syrup and bourbon whiskey.
One 7 to 9 lbs (3 to 4 kg) smoked ham1/2 cup of maple syrup
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup of bourbon whiskey
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp dijon mustard
First some notes on the ingredients. Use maple syrup, and not a maple syrup-flavored topping that is really made from corn syrup. Preferably you should use thick soy sauce, but it’s a minor element so the regular kind is acceptable.
Finally, if you have a bottle of maple bourbon whiskey on hand, you can use 1 cup of that to replace the bourbon and the maple syrup. If you decide to go that route, add a little more brown sugar to thicken things up.
Preheat your oven to 350F (175C). Peel off the skin of the ham, and trim the fat down to about half an inch thick (1.25 cm). Now cut a cross-hatch pattern, as you see depicted in the picture, on the surface of the ham. Place the ham in a roasting pan on its flat side, and fill the pan with one inch (1.25 cm) of water.
Cover the roasting pan and ham, either with the pan lid or with aluminum foil. Put it in the oven for one hour, and move on to making your glaze.
Mix all the other ingredients in a bowl. Remove the ham from the oven after an hour, and brush the glaze onto the entire surface of the ham. Push cloves into the center of each of the squares formed by your cross-hatching, if you wish to use cloves, and return the ham to the oven.
Pull the ham back out every half an hour for more glazing. If the water in the bottom of the pan is running low, add more and top it up. Continue roasting and glazing the ham once or twice more. You should have the ham in the oven for a total of 2 to 2 1/2 hours, and be glazing and roasting for a total of 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Remove from the oven and allow to sit and cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.