Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Baked Ham - Tips from the Reading Terminal Market

I couldn't face another roasted turkey so soon after Thanksgiving, so I talked the family into a baked ham for Christmas Day.

While we like turkey in most of its guises - minced in a chili, sliced, as meatballs, you name it -  a big ol' roast turkey seems like a lot of effort for a not particularly spectacular end result.  (And no one in my family will eat the dark meat...)

But ham is different.  Everyone loves it.  And no one grumbles about the leftovers!

Ham is so easy, especially if you source a good quality pre-baked ham from one of the butchers at Reading Terminal Market, who are always ready and willing to give you their advice...

The team at Giunta's offered these pearls of wisdom:
"Spiral cut hams are the best value for money and taste the best.  Because they are pre-sliced the additional water content is lower than in normal hams, so you're getting more for your money."

Try a Ham Steak from Giunta's Prime Meats
"We know there are people with smaller families or who may be on their own and they tend to be put off by the size of a baked ham, because it's too much meat for them.  Remember though that you can buy individual thick-cut slices which work just as well."

Key to the success of your table ready ham is the glaze.  Being a novice to this, we researched glazes online.  The results were overwhelming.  One website offered up 253 types of glaze.  My eyes glazed over.

We solicited recipes from our fellow FB phoodies and these were the two we liked best:
  • The first was from Marie Simon Gowan who said: "I love using peach, apricot or a combination of the two. This is great on pork, chicken and ham; I make it from my own homemade jams."
  • The next was from our friends at The Communal Pantry who suggested: "How about Pomegranate Molasses, brown sugar and orange juice...our current favourite glaze. For an added kick, you can also add chili flakes or mustard!" 
Both these suggestions sound like winners.  Hmmmm.  So what shall it be?  I did want to throw in some Bourbon, having found a recipe with cherries and orange juice...but then I also spotted some mango and guava jam. 

Perhaps some permutation of all three recipes? 

Howzabout pomegranate / port and cherries combo? 

Or whisky / orange juice / mango jam / kumquats.  

Both of them would surely benefit from a sprinkling of chili flakes..?

Or is that overkill? Photos to follow on FB closer to the big day...

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