Monday, May 26, 2008

Baked Smoked Ham

Ever since I found this recipe on David Ruggerio's PBS cooking show "Little Italy" (at least 15 years ago), it has been MY recipe for baked ham. I had tried various recipes, but this is "the one", even though it can get very messy putting the brown sugar on a very hot ham and ending up with burning hands. It is worth it!!

David Ruggerio remains my absolute favorite television chef even though he has not been on television since his unfortunate legal problems . . . not for me to judge! I do miss his sparkling wittypersonality, awesome recipes and "back in the day" stories that parallel my background and reminded me of my childhood . . . well, yeah, he's a sicilian italian. Come back David, your biggest fan misses you!

Here is the recipe for the most awesome baked ham ever . . .

1 large smoked ham, about 12 to 18 pounds
whole cloves
3 cups pineapple juice
I pound dark brown sugar
One 16-ounce bottle dark corn syrup

Preheat the oven to 325° F

Place the ham in a shallow pan. Score the fat and cover it with cloves. Pour the pineapple juice over the ham and bake for 12 minutes per pound.

After baking 1 1/2 hours, remove the ham from the oven and carefully (watch out . . . it is very hot) pat the brown sugar on top, completely covering the top of the ham. Gently pour the corn syrup over the ham, being careful not to disturb the sugar covering. Continue baking, basting every 15 minutes.

Remove the ham from the oven and continue basting until it is cooled, leaving a beautiful glazed look.

I use the remaining syrup as a "gravy" for the ham . . . added cornstarch makes it thicker. I don't measure . . . take a little cornstarch at a time until you get the desired consistency.

A video clip from the series "Little Italy"

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