The entire baked ham dinner menu is a hand-me-down recipe from my mother-in-law. This recipe is very versatile. It applies to different shapes, sizes and cuts of ham. Makes serving ham dinner super easy.
Total Time: Depends on the weight of the ham
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Active Cook Time: 10 Minutes
Inactive Cook Time: Depends on the weight of the ham
Serving: 6-8 or more
I have never cooked ham in my life. We always have ham in one of our relatives' house for special occasions and/or holidays.I do always get the leftover. So, I developed some delicious ham leftover recipes without cooking it. Funny, huh?
But one year, nobody cooked any ham either on Thanksgiving or Christmas. My husband talked about how much he craved to have some. So, I decided to give it a try.
My hubby always raves about how good his mom cooks the ham and gravy. So, when I first cooked it, I was nervous like crazy. You know that feeling like having butterflies in your stomach and worry that you may not meet the expectations.
The funny thing was that when my mother-in-law told me about her recipe, she somehow misspoke a very important ingredient. She always used fruit cocktail syrup from the can to make her delicious gravy. Instead, she told me using pineapple juice.
It was a perfect opportunity to allow me trying out the pineapple juice base gravy. 'Cos throughout all these years, everybody follows my mother's-in-law recipe to cross the t and dot the i.
Cooking so many times since I started making my own baked ham, I started to make my twists. It turned out....it tastes better and better. Here is my updated version. You may see the pictures look very different from each other. Some of them were taken after making some changes of my original recipe.
Whenever we (either one of my relatives or I) serve baked ham, these side dishes are the MUST.
So, what's the verdict? I must agree with my husband and his family that the fruit cocktail juice is better than the pineapple juice when it comes to gravy. There is some depth of the taste of the gravy. The fruit cocktail base gravy has a darker brown color, too.
However, different people have different preference. So, it will be fine to use either.
And how are you going to use up the pineapple and the fruit cocktail? Of course, you can eat them. But you can make delicious meals and/or side dish out of them. How?
Here are a couple recipes you can use up the canned fruit, pineapple kielbasa and the fruit cocktail shrimp salad. While the ham is cooking, you have plenty of time to prepare either one of these easy side dishes.
I love to hear from you which kind of juice you prefer for making your ham gravy. Please scroll to the bottom of this page and write it on the Facebook comment box.
My personal preference is to use disposable roasting pan because the sugar in the cocktail juice could stick to the pan which makes cleanup difficult.
I always have 2-6oz cans of pineapple juice handy. I learned this lesson in a hard way. Sometimes, the juice evaporated so much during the cooking process. I ended up having not enough gravy to serve along. There was a time that I needed to send somebody to the store to get extra can of fruit cocktail.
I tried many sizes, weights and portion of ham with this recipe. It works from 3 pounds to 13 pounds of ham. If it is more than 10 pounds, there is a slight difference in the process. I will cover it at the bottom of this page.
The package will have a direction how to carve ham. Just in case you didn't realize it and throw it away. Here are some basic tips:
A side note...electric knife is a great way to carve ham or turkey. But always remember the kitchen safety, especially if you have small children at home. Once you finish carving, unplug it from the outlet immediately before walking away.
This is a lesson I learned.
Well coordination of cook time and serve time is very important. If you plan to cook the ham very early on and leave it in a warm oven until meal time, the ham will be very dry.
If you have a big crowd to serve and expect some people may come late, try to schedule serving your ham dinner about 30 minutes later than expected. This will give you enough buffer and not to worry about serving the dry ham on the table.
7.5-10 pounds Bone-In or Boneless Ham (Shank is the best cut. But any cut fits your budget works well)
3 cup Pineapple Juice or Fruit Cocktail Juice (from 3 cans of 28-oz fruit cocktail; drain the fruit very well to make a salad later.)
12-14 Whole Cloves
1/2 cup tightly packed Light Brown Sugar
2 tablespoons Butter
2 tablespoons Flour
1 2-inch deep Disposable roasting pan (for easy clean-up)
If the baked ham is 11 pounds or more, add these steps. This will guarantee a beautiful ham and delicious family dinner:
What to do with all the leftover from the baked ham? What about the bone?
You got to save everything. There are some delicious and creative dishes you don't want to miss. Yummmm....
Check out the list on the Ham Leftover Recipes page
If you have any great ham leftover recipes, please share with us. You can either scroll down to the bottom to fill out the Facebook comment form or Contact Me. I am sure visitors of this web site would greatly appreciate your help and sharing. Thank you for stopping by and enjoy!
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Last updated on Nov 19, 2019