When I was younger, ham was usually something reserved for Christmas or Easter. Occasionally, my parents would make one at some other time of the year, and I always found it to be a tasty treat. In fact, I love it so much, I say we have it any time of the year! A nice juicy ham definitely takes a little time, but it's actually quite simple, you just have to be committed. To check out PartySugar's favorite ham recipe (which involves bourbon & Coca-cola and will go great with her Champagne Risotto),
One 20-pound fresh ham (shank and leg portion)
1/3 cup kosher salt
Emeril's Original Essence
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
7 cups Coca-Cola or other cola soft drink
2 cups bourbon whiskey
1 pound light brown sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
2. With a sharp knife, puncture and score the skin of the ham, making parallel 1/2-inch-deep incisions. Turn the ham and score again to make a grid-like pattern.
3. In a small bowl, combine the salt, Essence, black pepper and cayenne pepper and mix well to combine. Rub the spice blend evenly over the entire ham. Place the ham fatty side up on a work surface. Insert 1 clove where the lines intersect on the ham. Place the ham fatty side down in a large, heavy roasting pan (measuring about 19 by 14 inches).
4. Pour two cups of Coca-Cola into the bottom of the roasting pan and bake for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and pour 1 cup of cola over the ham. Return to the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and baste with 1 cup of cola. Bake for an additional 30 minutes then baste with 1 cup of cola. After baking 3 hours, remove the ham from the oven and carefully turn fatty side up.
5. Return the ham to the oven and bake for 1 hour.
6. While the ham is baking, in a medium saucepan, combine the bourbon and sugar. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook until reduced by one-third in volume to 2 cups, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
7. Remove the ham from the oven and baste with 1 cup of cola. Return to the oven to bake for 30 minutes. Remove the ham from the oven and baste with the remaining 1 cup of cola. Return to the oven and bake for 30 minutes. (The ham now will have cooked for 5 hours.) Bake the ham for an additional 30 minutes, remove from the oven and using a pastry brush, baste the top and sides with the bourbon and sugar glaze. Return to the oven and cook for 30 minutes, for a total cooking time of 6 to 6 1/2 hours, or when an instant-read thermometer registers 160 degrees to 165 degrees F.
8. Remove the ham from the oven and let cool for 20 minutes before carving.
Yield: Makes about 20 servings