Dr. Pepper Ham
Well, OK, you can use Coke or Pepsi or whatever your favorite is for this recipe, and either way, I’ll bet you and your guests like it better than honey. And in case you don’t know, you can buy excellent spiral sliced ham at Costco or other markets now.
I made this for Christmas dinner, when we fed more than 20 people. We had a buffet, and served this ham along with Pearl Onions in Parmesan Cream Sauce and Easy Cheesy Potatoes. I never had so many compliments, and from every age group!
Generally when you buy a spiral sliced ham, it will include a package containing the instant ingredients for a glaze, including honey buds. It’s not bad, but trust me, don’t feel bad about throwing away that packet and using this glaze.
1/2 cup Dr. Pepper
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 spiral sliced bone-in half ham, 7-10 pounds (allow 1/2 pound per person, and you’ll likely still have leftovers)
Unwrap the ham, remove the plastic bone cover, and place in baking dish flat side down. Wrap the ham with foil and let sit at room temperature for 1-2 hours.
Make the glaze (you can do this the day before or earlier if you need to). Put the Dr. Pepper, sugar, orange juice, and mustard in a sauce pan and bring to a simmer. The mustard is hard to dissolve, and requires constant stirring. (Next time I’m going to whip the mustard into a small amount of liquid first, to see if it makes it easier.) Simmer the glaze for about 10 minutes, and remove from the heat.
Put oven rack at low position and preheat oven to 250 degrees.
The ham is already cooked, so all you really need to do is to warm it up. If you cook it too long, it will lose moisture and flavor. In fact, last time I had the official Honey Baked Ham, they told me to put the ham out of the fridge for a few hours and eat it at room temperature. I’m sure that way the customers get a more flavorful ham than if they cook it to death.
I estimate that about an hour is enough to warm the ham. If you want, you can test the internal temperature, but it’s not necessary to get it much above room temperature. When it’s warm in the center, take it out of the oven, remove the foil, and paint the glaze on with a brush. Put it back in the oven for 10-15 minutes to set the glaze, and then remove the ham from the oven, paint it again with glaze, and cover it until it’s time to eat.
The real convenience of the spiral cut ham is that when it’s time to serve you just lay it on its side and make three or four cuts into the ham along the fat lines, and you’ll get beautiful serving pieces like in the photo.