Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Check Icon Print Icon Note Icon Heart Icon Filled Heart Icon Single Arrow Icon Double Arrow Icon Hamburger Icon TV Icon Close Icon Sorted Hamburger/Search Icon
Recipe

Baked Smithfield Ham with Bourbon, Honey, and Pecan Glaze

Lucy Schaeffer

Servings: 12, with leftovers.

Hams dry-cured, hickory-smoked, and aged in and around Smithfield, Virginia, have been legendary since the days Thomas Jefferson and Queen Victoria ordered them special, and today there is still no more ceremonial ham for the formal buffet table. Lean, dark-colored, delicate, and richly flavored, a Smithfield is so beautifully processed that it can be sliced paper thin and served raw like prosciutto. On the other hand, when the ham is slowly baked, and then subjected to a luscious glaze such as this one with bourbon, honey, and pecans, the result is a culinary masterpiece. If you’re truly offended by the saltiness in foods, you can soak a Smithfield for no longer than about six hours before baking it, but remember that you do so at the expense of distinctive flavor. Unlike other country hams, Smithfield ham is very rarely fried with red-eye gravy for breakfast in the South and is always served in thin slices.

Ingredients

  • One 12- to 14-lb. Smithfield ham
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup bourbon
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup ground toasted pecans
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 325°F.

    Scrub the ham well with a stiff brush under running water, position it on a rack in a large baking pan, add the water, cover, and bake for 2 1/2 hours, adding a little more water if necessary.

    Meanwhile, combine the bourbon and apple juice in a saucepan and boil over moderately high heat till reduced to about 1/2 cup. In a bowl, combine the brown sugar, pecans, honey, and cayenne and stir till well bended. Add the bourbon mixture and stir to form a paste.

    Remove the ham from the oven and increase the heat to 400°F. Remove and discard the skin and all but about 1/2 inch of fat, score the surface in diamonds, and rub the paste evenly over the top and sides. Return the ham to the oven and bake, uncovered, till the surface has a glossy mahogany glaze, about 30 minutes.

    To serve, let the ham stand out for about 30 minutes on a platter before carving into thin slices.

  • Learn more about James Villas’ cookbook Pig: King of the Southern Table by reading Nadia Arumugam’s book review from the June/July 2010 issue of Fine Cooking.

Reviews

Rate or Review

Reviews

We haven't received any reviews yet for this recipe.

Have you made it? Tell us what you thought!

Rate this Recipe

Write a Review

Delicious Dish

Find the inspiration you crave for your love of cooking

Fine Cooking Magazine

Subscribe today
and save up to 44%

Already a subscriber? Log in.

Videos

View All

Moveable Feast Logo

Season 4 Extras

Dijon, France (501)

Join host Pete Evans for the most opulent feast Moveable Feast with Fine Cooking has thrown! At the Chateau d’Ancy-le-Franc in Burgundy, the Renaissance-style surroundings of one of France’s finest…

View all Moveable Feast recipes and video extras

Connect

Follow Fine Cooking on your favorite social networks