Ham with Cranberry and Bourbon Glaze

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I hope everyone had a very happy holidays! Every Christmas, I bake a ham. Though, I do want to try a goose sometime. Has anyone made a Christmas goose? I’d love to hear about it. But anyway, this year, as usual, was a ham. For the past 3 or 4 years, I have made this cooking light recipe. There is nothing very “light” about it. I mean, really, how light can you make a ham. But it so good. I’m not sure if I’m reading the recipe right or not, but I took it as it wants you to put the ham cut side down. This is different than how I’ve always cooked a ham. But it comes out perfect. You know how sometimes that outside cut edge gets too dry. Cooked down like this, the outside edge is still so moist, but it still gets nice and crisp from contact with the bottom of the pan. I think all the juices from the fat flow down into the ham, sort of like when you turn your chicken breast side down for awhile when roasting. (Which I don’t ever do. I’m so afraid that I’ll end up flipping the hot bird right out of the pan.)


You can find the recipe out on their websight on the link above, but I’ve posted it here for your convenience. That’s how nice I am.

Ham with Cranberry and Bourbon Glaze
Cooking Light December 2001

1 (10-pound) 33%-less-sodium smoked, fully cooked bone-in ham
Cooking spray
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup canned whole-berry cranberry sauce
1/4 cup bourbon
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
1 bay leaf

Preheat oven to 325°.
Trim fat and rind from ham. Score outside of ham in a diamond pattern. Place the ham, bone end up, on a roasting pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 325° for 1 1/2 hours.

Combine the sugar and remaining ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat; discard bay leaf.

Increase the oven temperature to 400° (do not remove the ham from the oven). Brush the cranberry mixture over the ham. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes. Place ham on a platter, and cover with foil. Let stand for 15 minutes. Do not discard drippings.

Place a zip-top plastic bag inside a 2-cup glass measure or bowl. Pour the drippings into the bag, and let stand for 10 minutes (the fat will rise to the top). Seal the bag, and carefully snip off 1 bottom corner of the bag. Drain the drippings into a bowl, stopping before the fat layer reaches the opening; discard the fat. Serve the sauce with the ham.

Note: Wine Suggestion:The tartness of the cranberries, sweetness of the bourbon, and pungency of the horseradish all take this ham in a decidedly different direction than the Ham with Champagne and Vanilla Glaze (page 109). The dramatic boldness of these flavors call for an equally bold and very fruity wine. Gewürztraminers from Alsace, France, fitthebill. Try the current vintage from any of the following producers: Trimbach, Hugel, Domaine Weinbach, or Zind-Humbrecht (about $18 to $22).

25 servings (serving size: 3 ounces ham and about 2 teaspoons sauce)

I left the serving size in there for a joke. Now I see how it is a light recipe. When has anyone in my family ever called 3 ounces of ham a serving!


Also, I don’t pour all the glaze over the ham. I brush a little on, keeping the rest warm on the stove. I’m afraid that it will get all sticky in the pan, and the whole scraping it back out and separating the fat from it sounds like too much work. So after I slice the ham, I just serve the warm sauce on the side. And believe me, everyone loves this sauce. The combination of cranberries with the horseradish is amazing, and you can pick up a hint of bourbon, but really just a hint. Even though my picky oldest daughter said she could taste it.

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  1. says

    I’ve noticed that “light” foods usually have absurdly tiny portions. 3 ounces of ham for one of my boys falls somewhere below the level of appetizer.

    And yes, I made Christmas goose about 3 years ago (actually, I should say Christmas Geese, because I cooked 6). Goose and duck are both fatty, so I put them up on a rack in the roasting pan. I also quartered lemon and orange, and put one quarter of each in each bird in place of stuffing. If you stuff a goose, the stuffing will be ruined. Maybe a New Year’s goose for you?

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