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I like ham fine. I wouldn’t say it’s my favorite meat. But this ham…it’s ham like I didn’t know ham could be. I think the word “succulent” might have been invented for this ham.
It’s a bit more labor intensive than other recipes. Not hard, just several steps. But it’s all done earlier in the day, so at dinner time, there’s nothing to do but take out the magic meat and dig in.
I combined two recipes to make this, and it all comes together in a perfect, lip-smacking way. I always make biscuits with this because the sweet, juicy shreds of meat are perfect with a bit of tender biscuit. And leftovers make the best little sandwiches the next day!
I have always made ham by mixing up a glaze with brown sugar, some type of juice (apple if I had it), and Dijon mustard and baking it. No muss, no fuss. Then, years ago, I saw Nigella Lawson make a ham in which she first boiled it in a 2-liter of Coke, and then glazed and baked it. Interesting. Never tried it.
Fast-forward to last year, and I came across another recipe that boiled the ham first, but this time with a mix of water and vinegar. What got my attention with this recipe was that she shredded the ham and layered it in a dish with the glaze before baking it. She used words like “life-changing” in describing the sweet result. I needed to try this.
But I couldn’t bear my house smelling like vinegar all day, nor did I think my family would eat anything that I served after the house smelled like vinegar all day, so I made a change. I use Nigella’s Coke idea, and add apple cider vinegar to it, along with a little water.
A little aside here…I laugh every time I make this and tell my family that this recipe is my sister Tracy’s worst nightmare. She doesn’t eat pork (yes, even bacon), nor does she approve of soda. So Tracy, if you’re reading this, I promise I’ll never make this for you. 🙂 And dear readers, if you are cut from the same cloth as my sister…no hard feelings if you skip this one.
For those of you who want to press on, let me give you my ham-buying tip. Aldi has the best prices on hams I’ve seen. If you’ve got one near you, check it out! Also, be sure NOT to use a spiral sliced ham for this recipe.
Let me also tell you, when the ham is boiling, it is not pretty. I took a picture of it, but I’m not putting it in here. The brown liquid is not appetizing. But it does not smell bad cooking, that’s for sure.
So you boil the ham for 3 hours. Yes, boil. I try to get it to a place where it is actively bubbling, but just below where it is bubbling out of the pot. I keep it covered, but with the lid just slightly askew to vent it a bit.
After 3 hours (a little less if your ham is on the smaller side), remove from the heat and drain the liquid. I work right out of the pot, but you could move your ham to a cutting board if you like.
Using a combination of tongs, forks and your fingers, pull the meat into shreds. Place them into a square baking dish (I think mine is 9 x 9). When your baking dish is about 1/2 full, drop spoonfuls of your glaze mixture (just a mixture of brown sugar and Dijon mustard) over it and then cover with the rest of the ham shreds. Spoon the remainder of your glaze over the top.
You can leave some pieces larger if you like. I like a variety of sizes. Discard fat and wrap the bone up to stick in your freezer to make soup or a pot of beans another day.
Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for an hour at 325.
What awaits you in in hour?
Moist. Succulent. Heavenly. Luscious. That’s what awaits you.
It’s sweet and it’s rich, you won’t be making this every day. It’s one to savor.
Have you ever tried a method like this with ham? Let me know what you think of this one.