Posted by: dinainsuburbia | November 30, 2008

Ham with Bourbon, Molasses, & Pecan Glaze (or, make this as your Christmas ham)

Last night I cooked up the ham I was supposed to make on Thanksgiving.  I’ve never made anything but fresh ham, so I had to do a little bit of research to find a recipe that worked for me.  

I settled on a four-fork rated recipe from Ham with Bourbon, Molasses, and Pecan Glaze.  I wasn’t sure if I wanted to deal with toasting pecans, throwing them in the food processor, etc.. so I thought I was going to leave the pecans out.  At the last minute I decided otherwise and the result was delicious.  I ground the pecans rather fine- but still chunky enough to leave a crust on the ham.  The powdered mustard provided the perfect amount of bite to counterbalance all that brown sugar.  I didn’t have light molasses, so I used the regular molasses from my pantry- I just used slightly less than the recipe called for.  

The only change I made was that I cooked the ham with 1/2 cup apple juice and 1/2 cup of coke as cooking liquid to keep the ham moist- it did the trick.  There was sufficient pan drippings left over to use as a gravy- I didn’t even have to reduce the pan drippings- it was delicious as is.

I used a spiral-cut, hickory smoked ham- and it worked out beautifully; if the ham wasn’t already sliced, I’m not sure I would have been able to figure it out!


  • 1/2 cup apple juice (preferably fresh unfiltered)
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 1 3/4 cups (packed) dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup pecans, toasted, cooled, finely ground
  • 1/4 cup mild-flavored (light) molasses
  • 3 tablespoons dry mustard
  • 1 whole bone-in 16- to 18-pound ham


Boil juice and bourbon in small saucepan until reduced to scant 1/3 cup, about 6 minutes. Combine sugar, pecans, molasses, and mustard in bowl. Add bourbon mixture; stir to form thick paste. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover; chill. Bring to room temperature before using.)

Position rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 325°F. Line large roasting pan with heavy-duty foil, leaving overhang on all sides. Trim off skin and all but 1/4 inch fat from ham. Place ham, fat side up, in prepared pan. Roast ham until thermometer inserted into thickest part registers 130°F to 135°F, about 10 minutes per pound or 2 hours 40 minutes for 16-pound ham.

Remove ham from oven; increase oven temperature to 425°F. Lightly score fat on ham in diamond pattern. Rub glaze thickly over top and sides of ham. Return ham to oven and roast until glaze is deep brown and bubbling, about 25 minutes. Let ham stand at least 20 minutes and up to 45 minutes.


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