Chris Cooks

Slow-Cooked, Tender Ham

December 12, 2013

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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!

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What do you think?

  1. 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!

  2. Trilby C. says:

    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!!

  3. aly says:

    I can attest for this. It WAS good!

  4. Debby says:

    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!

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

  6. 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!

  7. Wendy says:

    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.)

  8. 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.

  9. Rachel says:

    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!

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We believe we should all love where we live.

We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 

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