It’s mid-morning on Christmas Eve and your family is on their way to your house for their Christmas Eve dinner. Your house is quiet and still before it becomes flooded with hugs, laughs, and children playing. Your holiday décor glistens in the mid-morning sunlight and your table is set to feed the hungry tummies that will soon be gathered around it. You take a deep breath and enjoy the peace and quiet, you can smell your ham cooking in the oven along with the sweet aroma of the brandy and brown sugar glaze that has been melting over it for the last hour. Your make ahead mashed potatoes you whipped up the night before are baking in the oven right next to that mouthwatering bourbon ham. The rest of dinner is ready to go, and the presents are neatly wrapped sitting around the tree. For a second out of this Christmas season you feel prepared. You’re ready for Christmas.
In my family, Christmas is about the food as much as it is the presents and laughter. There is a sense of peace and maybe a little pride I feel in feeding my family the pork that I raised. That ham that is baking in my oven to 140 degree perfection, came from a pig that may have fallen sick and was treated with antibiotics to save his life and to prevent the sickness spreading to other pigs. He turned out a healthy pig that was able to feed our hungry bellies here at Christmas. Pig farmers like us, work closely with their veterinarians to diagnose and administer antibiotics.
I know that most of you don’t have the luxury of raising your own pork to eat. We also purchase meat from the grocery store and because of mandatory programs that pig farmers take like the PQA, I feel comfortable purchasing meat from my local grocery store because of our tight regulations. I know that those pigs were treated with the upmost care to give me and my family safe food this holiday season and throughout the year. PQA which stands for Pork Quality Assurance, educates producers on safe and healthy pig production practices that ensure food safety. As contracted pig growers we are required to take this training and become certified. Our barns and practices are also audited once per month by our manager who is also PQA certified. He works closely with us to make herd health management decisions such as the use of antibiotics. We care about our animals and keeping up with cutting edge production practices to ensure your food is safe to eat.
This brandy and brown sugar ham glaze is the perfect addition to your holiday dinner. It’s sweet, and the ham gives the glaze a little savory flavor. The red pepper flakes have a little kick to the sweet flavor after your second or third bite. This is a recipe for the books, and one that will keep your family reaching for more.
From our farm to your table, we wish you a merry Christmas filled with lots of pork love.
- 8-10 lbs. Bone-In Smoked Ham
- 1 Cup Brown Sugar
- ½ Cup Brandy
- 1-2 Tblsp. Ground Mustard (to taste)
- 1 Tblsp. Ground Coriander
- 1 tsp. All Spice
- ½ tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
- 2 tsp. Salt
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a medium bowl mix all of the ingredients from above together except for the ham.
- Prepare your oven roaster or a pan with sides and line with tin foil for easy clean up.
- Score the ham in 1 inch cuts by about ¼ Inch deep. You will do this in two directions to create squares in on the surface of the ham.
- Place the ham in your pan and baste half of the ham glaze on top of the ham evenly. Bake the ham for 45 Minutes. After it has baked for 45 Minutes baste the rest of the glaze on the ham and continue to cook for 45-75 minutes or until the center of the ham has reached 140 degrees.
Recipe note: I used mustard seed in the recipe pictured but I suggest using ground mustard.