5 Delicious Glazes for Your Holiday Ham

Illustration for article titled 5 Delicious Glazes for Your Holiday Ham

Graphic: Elena Scotti, Photo: Shutterstock, Getty Images

I love ham. When I was nine years old, my parents went away for the night on Boxing Day; when they returned, they found that someone had eaten most of a 20-pound leg of ham. I didn’t even understand how to slice it properly. I just shaved it from the top down. (One could say that I was ham-fisted in my approach.) In my haste to avoid blame, I didn’t think through my lies. Although I swore “it wasn’t me,” I was the only possible culprit—my grandmother, who had stayed with me, was a Seventh Day Adventist and did not eat pork.

Serving an unglazed ham is unconscionable. Whether I’m at home in Jamaica or in Canada, I always make a spectacular clove-studded glazed ham, dressed with pineapple rings and maraschino cherries. (Yes, I love the 70s and 80s.) Glazes add flavor, color, and texture, all of which are achieved through the sugar caramelizing on the skin. The best glazes are sweet, fruity, and tangy and a touch spicy—all flavors that balance the porcine saltiness.

Here are five (5) of my favorite Christmas ham glazes. Some have been used by my family for decades, and we have yet to tire of them. Each recipe will yield enough glaze for a 10 to 14-pound ham. (Oh, and once your ham is cooked and glazed, be sure to let it rest for 30 minutes before slicing.)

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