Slow-Cooked, Tender Ham

There are lots of ways to cook a ham. By far the most popular Christmas ham is a baked, spiral-cut ham with the bone in, coated with brown sugar and/or a range of spices. Why wouldn’t this be the favorite? It’s delicious. But for my ham this year, I decided to try something a little different.

I love slow-cooked pork roasts. Not necessarily slow-COOKER, pork roasts, though you could use a slow cooker for this if it were large enough. But a pork leg or butt cooked low and slow, for hours and hours, until the meat is fall-apart tender. I just love it. And the leftovers are so versatile – barbecue sandwiches, tacos, breakfast hash. So I thought, why not try that with a ham? So I did. Spoiler alert, it was pretty awesome. Check it.

Here’s what you need:

• A Ham. Don’t use spiral cut.
• 4 Cups chicken stock (unsalted – the ham has plenty of salt in it)
• 4 Cups raw apple juice
• 2 apples, peeled, cored and sliced
• 1 Cup brown sugar
• 1/2 Cup dijon mustard
• 1 Tbsp ground mustard powder
• 1 tsp ground cinnamon
• 2 pinches ground clove

Mix everything except the ham in a pitcher or something. Put the ham in a lidded pot deep enough to hold the entire thing, then add the liquid until the ham is almost covered.

Cook the ham, with the lid on, in a 250 degree oven for 10 hours, flipping the ham at about 5 hours. Once done, remove from the liquid and wrap in tin foil, adding a ladle or two of the cooking liquid before sealing up the tinfoil. Use multiple layers so, if one layer is punctured, you don’t get liquid spilling everywhere. Let the ham rest in the tinfoil for an hour or so, then serve. It will still be warm.

This is not a traditional ham. I know. But this ham shreds like pulled pork, is sweet, bursting with flavor, and the cooking liquid makes a great dijon gravy or sauce to go with it.

How do you cook your ham? Classic roasting? Maybe smoked? Let me know the deets, and perhaps even consider giving this non-conventional version a try.

PS: Don’t forget to sign up for the Wusthof Classic 3-Piece Cheese Knife Set Giveaway. Winner announced on that post tomorrow!


  • Reply December 12, 2013


    This is the kind of ham I grew up on! Except my mom made it in a slow cooker. I love how it shreds down like that!

    • Reply December 13, 2013

      Chris Marcum

      This was my first time trying it, actually, and I was really surprised how good it was. And is, I guess, since I’m still enjoying the leftovers on my daily sandwiches. :)

  • Reply December 12, 2013

    Meagan @ Meagan Tells All

    AMAZING. I love me a good Christmas ham. seriously. And my mom makes this homemade mustard sauce that is to die for. If you’re a mustard guy, you NEED this recipe.

  • Reply December 13, 2013


    Thank you, beyond thank you for this. I had asked my hub to find a ham recipe for him (as I’m veg), but he’s been busy with some really-amazing writing gigs which meant the recipe finding has fallen into another galaxy.

    Perhaps I’ll just make it and surprise him. (If only it was that easy, but since he works/writes from home, he’ll know what’s up.)

  • Reply December 13, 2013

    Jessica Gehman

    My husband’s family doesn’t do turkey or lamb or anything, it’s ham for every holiday. I can’t wait to add this one to the mix – I can’t eat another glazed ham this Easter… THANKS!

  • Oh yum! Ham is my fave holiday dish! May have to give this a shot!

  • Reply December 14, 2013


    This looks delicious, but I don’t eat ham. Do you think it could work with beef? What kind of cut would you suggest, or just wouldn’t work? Thanks!

  • Reply December 16, 2013


    I can attest for this. It WAS good!

  • Reply December 19, 2013

    Trilby C.

    Chris – can I assume correctly that since you’re mentioning a lidded pot, that it’s covered the whole time while cooking? I’ve got mine in the oven now (with the lid – mostly – on, since our ham is HUGE). Looking forward to dinner tonight!!

    • Reply December 19, 2013

      Chris Marcum

      Hi Trilby! Yes, cook with the lid on. At least as “on” as it can be.

      Thanks for pointing out that I didn’t specifically mention that. I’ll go back and add it. I hope you enjoy the ham, and the all-day smells that accompany it. :)

    • Reply December 19, 2013

      Trilby C.

      Thanks, Chris. The ohhhh-so-tempting all-day smells are the only “bad” part about slow cooking!

    • Reply December 20, 2013

      Trilby C.

      Aaaand one final comment. This was to. die. for. Even my pickiest eater ate a big helping!

    • Reply December 20, 2013

      Chris Marcum

      So glad you liked it! And you know when the kids eat without inhibitions, that it’s a winner.

      Merry Christmas!

  • Reply December 20, 2013

    Craig Sandvig

    This is so amazing! I made it for dinner and I cannot stop snacking on the leftovers, they win over the Christmas cookies any day! I thickened the sauce with a roux to mix back into the meat. Very excited for sandwiches this weekend!

    • Reply December 20, 2013


      Signed in as my husband again…

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