Because ham is so versatile, our Sunday ham tradition means a different flavour every week. Baked ham is easy to prepare, and easy to personalize with the flavour of your choice because it goes so well with so many ingredients, including the ten variations detailed here.
Yield: Serves 6 to 8
1 4 lb ham, labelled
2 cups any liquid, fruit juice, wine or meat broth
2 heaping spoonfuls of you favourite condiment; mustard, horseradish, marmalade, jam, jelly, chutney, etc.
1 tablespoon any fresh herb, or 1 teaspoon any spice
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 or 2 sprinkles freshly ground pepper
Place the ham in a large pot with a tight-fitting lid. Add your choice of liquid, condiment and herb or spice and, uncovered, bring to a simmer. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and continue simmering for 90 minutes or so. The ham is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 160 °F (71 °C). At this point you may serve the ham as is, with the broth, or glaze it, bake it in the oven and serve it with a sauce.
Preheat your oven to 375 °F (190 °C).
Remove the ham from the simmering liquid and place it in a roasting pan or large saucepan on top of the stove. Pour 1 cup of the broth into another smaller saucepan. Bring it to a boil and continue cooking, reducing it over high heat until it is the consistency of syrup. Brush the glaze all over the ham and then roast it in the oven for 30 minutes, basting once or twice with more glaze.
For the sauce, dissolve the cornstarch in the water. Heat the remaining ham broth to a simmer and slowly whisk in the cornstarch slurry. Stir until thickened. Taste and season as needed with salt and pepper. Once the ham is done, remove it from the oven and let it rest for 15 minutes before slicing and serving with the sauce.
1. Apple juice, grainy mustard and rosemary
2. Apple juice, apple butter and cinnamon
3. Orange juice, marmalade and curry powder
4. Orange juice, horseradish and dill
5. Orange juice, brown sugar and nutmeg
6. Pineapple juice, marmalade and allspice
7. Red wine, raspberry jelly and ground cloves
8. White wine, grape jelly and tarragon
9. Rum, raisins and allspice
10. Chicken broth, Dijon mustard and rosemary
A rack of lamb is a great special occasion dinner. Too bad each chop only gets a thin crust of aromatic topping. To maximize the flavour potential, use individual lamb chops that can each be thickly encased with a crust. Mint and lamb are one of the great classic flavour combinations, and the edamame provides vibrant colour and protective moisture for the delicate mint while in the oven.
A good fish stew has three basic parts: the flavour base, the broth and the fish. Each is easy to master. This particular version highlights many of the bright flavours of the Mediterranean. Some would call it a bouillabaisse but I don’t because that makes it sound intimidating, fancy and difficult. It also inspires too many conversations about authenticity. Remember its just fish stew!