Baked ham is slathered with a sweet bourbon glaze of brown sugar and orange juice. Perfect for the holidays!
Southerners love their bourbon about as much as we love our “Co-colas.” We will find any excuse to add a few generous glugs into pretty much anything. Don’t let the Southern Baptists fool you with their legalism talk either. They do it too.
Why shouldn’t we? Adding a splash of bourbon to this simple bourbon glaze just brings out the smoky flavors of the ham. And check out the shiny tan on this bad boy! Is that not a pretty ham?
Scotch, Whiskey and Bourbon – What’s the Difference?
All bourbon is whiskey, but not all whisky is bourbon. Huh? It’s has a little to do with the amount of corn mash used during distilling and location.
In a nutshell, Scotch and bourbon are both types of whiskeys. Scotch is whiskey made in Scotland. Bourbon is whiskey made in the U.S.A. In order for a whiskey to be considered bourbon, it must contain at least 51% corn mash an be aged in a new charred oak barrel.
Choosing the right Bourbon
There are tons of varieties of bourbon on the market, some more expensive than others. Keep in mind, this recipe only calls for 1/4 cup of bourbon, which means you are going to have a leftover bottle in your cabinet. If you enjoy sipping bourbon, then pick something you could see drinking later such as Knob Creek, Maker’s Mark or Four Roses (which I have shown in the picture above). If you’re not a bourbon drinker, a less expensive brand such as Jim Beam, Wild Turkey, Old Crow, and Heaven Hill are fine for this recipe.
Preparing the Ham
I always purchase fully cooked smoked ham from the grocery store. Since it’s already cooked through, it really just needs to be reheated. Preheat the over to 375 degrees. Place the ham in a roasting pan or large casserole dish. Cover with foil then bake the ham for 15 minutes per pound. For a 10 pound ham, I had to bake my ham for about 2 hours.
Preparing the Bourbon Glaze
While the ham is baking, combine 1/4 cup of bourbon with 1/2 cup of orange juice, 3/4 cup brown sugar, and 1 teaspoon mustard. After the ham has baked for about an hour and a half, remove it from the oven and strain two tablespoons of juice from the bottom of the roasting pan. Whisk this “ham juice” in with the glaze along with one tablespoon of cornstarch. Bring the bourbon glaze ingredients to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the glaze thickens, about two minutes.
Brush the bourbon glaze liberally all over the outside of the ham. Return the ham to the oven, uncovered. Baste the ham with the glaze every ten minutes for 30 minutes. Remove ham from oven and allow it to rest for 15 minutes.
This bourbon glaze ham definitely has centerpiece potential written all over it. It’s salty and sweet, tender and juicy, and will keep you coming back for seconds.
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Bourbon Glaze for Baked Ham
- 1 bone-in fully cooked bone-in ham shank mine was about 10 pounds
- ½ cup orange juice
- ¾ cup packed brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons ham juice from the bottom of the roasting pan
- 1 teaspoon mustard
- ¼ cup bourbon
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place ham in a roasting pan or baking dish and cover with foil. Cook ham 15-20 minutes per pound. For a 10 pound ham, I ended up cooking mine approximately two hours.
- After the ham has baked for an hour and a half, remove it from the oven. Strain two tablespoons of juice from the bottom of the pan. Combine orange juice, brown sugar, ham juice, mustard, and bourbon. Whisk in cornstarch until smooth. Bring to a boil and cook until glaze has thickened, about 1-2 minutes.
- Apply glaze liberally to the outside of the ham. Return to the oven, uncovered. Baste ham with the glaze every ten minutes for 30 minutes. Remove ham from oven and allow it to rest for 15 minutes.