Growing up, Easter dinner always revolved around my mom’s perfectly baked Chisesi’s ham. (Chisesi’s Pride makes some of the finest smoked meats in New Orleans.) She bathe it in a sweet and savory mixture of brown sugar, coca-cola and yellow mustard. Then she studded the top with canned pineapple rings and marashino cherries. It was and still is one of the best baked hams I’ve ever tasted. Unfortunately, we can’t get Chisesi hams here in Atlanta (although the company recently expanded and is looking to make their fine pork products available nationwide–yay!). Even worse, I won’t be able to share Easter dinner with my mom or the rest of my family back home. But I’m keeping the baked ham tradition alive and well in my own kitchen by preparing a reliably delicious Smithfield ham also with sweet and savory elements. My sweet and savory, though, has a little more attitude than mom’s (she’s not surprised by that). That attitude comes in the way of tart and sweet cherries coupled with tongue tingling chipotles. I love pairing these two ingredients. When they cook down with the juices from that smoky, briny ham, the gates of pork heaven fly open! This glaze will rock anything in your pork world. So try it on chops, ribs and tenderloins too. Happy Easter!
Baked Ham with Chipotle Cherry Glaze Recipe
1 8- to 10-pound fully cooked, bone-in smoked ham
1 cup cherry preserves
3/4 cup Dijon mustard
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Lea & Perrins (Worcestershire sauce)
1 to 2 canned chipotle chiles in adobo, minced, plus 1 teaspoon adobo sauce
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Remove ham from refrigerator 30 minutes prior to cooking. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a shallow roasting pan with aluminum foil; place roasting rack on top. Place ham, flat side down, on rack. Pierce ham all over with an ice pick or metal skewer and score the top in a crisscross pattern (to allow the sauce to penetrate the meat). In a medium bowl, make glaze by whisking together cherry preserves and remaining ingredients. Brush ham with one-third of the glaze. Bake, covered, for 2 hours, basting with additional glaze every 20 minutes. Uncover ham, baste one final time and cook until heated through, about 30 minutes more. Let rest 20 minutes before slicing. Pour pan juices into a small bowl and serve alongside warm ham. Makes 8-10 servings.