December 17, 2009

Spinning up a Holiday Ham

I used to cook a turkey both for Thanksgiving as well as Christmas, because that's what my mom always did.  Then my hubby pointed out that since both holidays are only a month apart, maybe I should think about cooking something else for our Holiday Feast at Christmas.  Obviously he's not as big of a fan of turkey leftovers for days like I am.  

Both he and Princess Nagger love ham, but I've never been very fond of it.  Sure, I tend to be a ham, but eat it?  Not so much.  Especially when we've had it at other people's houses or eating out and it's either been too salty or too dried out for my liking.

Over the years I've experimented with different types of ham and many different recipes.  Finally, a couple of years ago I finally found the combination that worked so well, even I love this ham, and Princess Nagger will eat it until the cows come home - or in this case, the piggies.


Slow Cooker Glazed Ham


Ingredients
1 (6-8 pound)
 bone-in country ham or spiral cut ham
30-ish
 whole cloves
3+ cups
 apple cider, or as needed
1-ish cup
 brown sugar
1-ish cup
 maple syrup
1 Tablespoon
 ground cinnamon
½ Tablespoon
 ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon
 ground ginger
1 teaspoon
 ground cloves
1 Tablespoon
 vanilla extract (optional)
1
 peel of an orange
 
Directions
  1. Line the crock pot with foil or one of those handy-dandy crock-pot liners (that I always forget to pick up, so I end up just lining with foil.  Just be sure to do either, because it makes clean up so much easier).

  2. Layer the bottom of the lined crock-pot with brown sugar.

  3. Press whole cloves into the ham so they are evenly distributed. You may score the ham for easier insertion if you wish, or go the ‘easy’ route and get a spiral cut ham like I do and push the whole cloves randomly into the sliced sections.

  4. Place the ham in a slow cooker cut (flat) side down.

  5. Pack the brown sugar on top of the ham, pressing into the cloves. Pour the maple syrup over the ham – some of the brown sugar will get washed away, but what stays on is a bonus.   Sometimes I’ll sprinkle more brown sugar on after I pour on the maple syrup.

  6. Season the apple cider with cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, ground cloves and vanilla. Pour into the crock pot until you get to the fill line.  Preference is that you only want about 2 inches of ham above the surface, but if your ham exceeds the top of the crock pot like mine usually does, it doesn’t always work out that way.  Add the orange peel to the pot.

  7. Cover and set to Low.  Depending on the size of the ham, and whether or not it’s fully cooked or uncooked, you’ll want to cook it anywhere from 4 to 10 hours.  Usually I get a spiral cut pre-cooked ham and it’s usually ready in about 3-1/2 to 4 hours on low. 
If your ham is too big to fit in your crock pot, you can cut it to fit, or when you line the crock pot with foil, make sure there’s enough extra to basically wrap over the top of the ham.  When the ham is that big for my biggest crock pot, I’ll cover the top with foil, then set the crock pot lid on top just to make sure the heat is contained.

I also check the ham frequently, and if there’s any part that sticking up out of the liquid, you want to either baste it frequently to make sure that part doesn’t dry out, or if you’re all about ‘easy’ (like me), just turn the ham over every so often to make sure every surface has a chance to be covered.  I’ll usually turn the ham after about 2 hours, then flip it back about a ½ hour before it’s time to eat.

I serve this with some of the same side dishes I make for Thanksgiving:

Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes
Slow Cooker Apple Stuffing/Dressing
Slow Cooker Sweet Potatoes
Cranberry Sauce with Port and Cinnamon
Pumpkin Cognac Crème Brûlée (or I make a regular Crème Brûlée or Chocolate Crème Brûlée, depending on what the craving is at the time)
Apple Cranberry Pie

Growing up we always had our Christmas Feast on Christmas Eve - a Swedish Tradition.  Since it varies on whether or not December 24th is a work day (formerly for me, currently for hubby), I've changed the tradition and make the feast on Christmas Day instead.  

If you celebrate Christmas, what kind of feast to you enjoy?  And if you celebrate other holidays this time of year, what kinds of traditional foods do you get to toss your diet out the window for?


This mouth-watering Spin Cycle was brought to you in part by Jen, one of my favorite hams, and Sprite's Keeper.  Head on over and check out the other spinners - be warned, though, you're going to get awfully hungry reading all the yummy-ness and might have to resist the urge to lick your computer screen. 

27 Random Sassy Comments:

diane said...

I should have waited until tomorrow to read this, because now I'm going to bed STARVING!
Thanks for posting this. I have only been successful cooking a ham once, which was obviously a fluke of some kind. This recipe will come in handy.

Unknown Mami said...

I'm not a big fan of ham, but I love it on Christmas.

Holly said...

We have a similar ham vs. turkey discussion at our house..and then add in the occasional vote for prime rib..I don't care I like the sides dishes better anyway! This ham recipe look yummy and easy! I might have to vote for that one this year.

Captain Dumbass said...

I like ham, but I want my turkey for Xmas. And I have to have yorkshire puddings too with lots of gravy. Mmmm...

*happy place*

Vodka Logic said...

I love a spiral ham.. yum an peasoup after. delicious.

I love turkey or ham so either holiday is fine with me..

Captain Dumbass.. I love yorkshire pudding.

DysFUNctional Mom said...

I love ham. And I am now drooling.

otin said...

I like pork. I am not a huge fan of smoked or cured hams.

Secretia said...

All those holiday meals are excellent. It's cleaning up the kitchen that's the big discussion wherever I am!

kyooty said...

that sounds yummy!

Brian Miller said...

we have ham at christmas as well...but the best part is just being with family at grammas house at the holidays...hope you and yours are having a great holiday season!

Mango Girl said...

I think adding a ham to the delicious road side turkey is an excellent idea. Thanks for the recipe.

xo, Mango

Toni said...

Mmmm ham...got room for an extra little one at the table?! hehe

Anne said...

That sounds great! I will have to try it. Both my girls like ham and with all that sugar and syrup, I am sure it will be a hit. I also like the idea of the crock pot. Anything that makes things easier makes me happy.

Amy said...

No ham for me.. I do not eat pork. We may be having roast beef this year..

Sprite's Keeper said...

I guess there is such a thing as a Kosher style ham, ME!
I've always wondered what ham tastes like, and it looks delicious, but I'll have to take your word for it. :-)
You're linked!
Chocolate creme brulee? YUM!

Jan said...

And you keep asking me when I'm going to write a cookbook?

Oh. My. GAWD. I started to DROOL while I read this. I am SO making it on Christmas day for me and Beloved.

Steven Anthony said...

That sounds devine...I may use the entire menu for the holiday....thanx;)

Otter Thomas said...

We always did and still do turkey and ham for both holidays. I prefer ham.

Martha in PA said...

We are having ham. I will give this a try. Finally something to use the GIANT crock pot for!

In the past I used to prepare a big feast Christmas Eve.. and the menu changed every year. In FL, with just two or three of us, it was a scaled down ham dinner. For Tara, we don't have any real food traditions, I'm hoping that will start to change.

One of my FAVORITE Christmas meals, was the year after my father passed, my mother spent Christmas with me in my town house in VA, and we had Chinese take out. We still recall that every year, but can no longer find a Chinese restaurant that is open!!!

Nancy Campbell said...

Anything in a crock pot is fantastic in my book. This sounds great.

We go back and forth between turkey and ham, but the egg casserole on Christmas morning is sacred.

Firefly@www.firefly-shop.org said...

yummy

Mama Badger said...

I normally just buy a "honey baked ham", but this sounds so good and easy I might give it a try.

We usually go to a really early "dinner" at my MIL, and then I make a lasagne for our evening meal. Yum X2!

Yaya said...

Oh...we're lazy...we just order a honey-baked ham each year. ;)

Kirby3131 said...

Goodness, I may have to make a few of these things - YUM!!

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

Came from Jan's because I just HAD to have this recipe. Sounds delish.

And I knew I should have tried to find the tiem to read all the spins on recipes that week!

gretchen said...

Question...I've never seen the crock pot liners before. Where in the store can I find them? Are they with the plastic bags and such? Or with the foil?

Can't wait to try this!

gretchen said...

Question...I've never seen the crock pot liners before. Where in the store can I find them? Are they with the plastic bags and such? Or with the foil?

Can't wait to try this!