Serving a ham (or even a whole roast pig) at a celebratory or holiday meal, like Easter or Christmas, is something of a tradition in many parts of the world, South America included. Cooking a salt or smoke cured ham can be a big undertaking, but nowadays fully cooked spiral cut hams are widely available. These hams are ready to eat when you purchase them, but their flavor can improved by heating them in the oven and glazing them. They become more tender and juicy this way, enhancing the salty-sweet flavors.Allow about 15 minutes per pound to heat the ham, plus another 15 minutes in the oven to set the glaze.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours, 10 minutes
Yield: Serves 12-16 (depending on size)
- 1 spiral cut (fully cooked) ham, 8-10 pounds
- 1 1/2 cups orange-mango juice
- 1 20-ounce can crushed pineapple
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, molasses, honey or chancaca (panela)
- 1/4 cup pisco brandy (optional)
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon mustard (optional)
- Cloves and pineapple rings (canned are fine) for decoration
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Remove the ham from its packaging and place it, cut side down, in a roasting pan (with sides at least 1-2 inches high) that is just big enough to accommodate it.
- Drain the crushed pineapple, reserving the juice. Add 1/4 cup of the pineapple juice to the orange mango juice. Pour the orange/mango/pineapple juice over the ham, letting it accumulate into the bottom of the pan. Add 5-6 cloves to the juice. Score the top of the ham and decorate the top of the ham with more cloves if desired. Cover the ham and pan tightly with foil.
- Bake ham in the oven for 15 minutes per pound. Open the oven occasionally and spoon the juice over the ham.
- After the ham has baked for one hour, remove 1/2 cup of the basting juices from the bottom of the pan and place in a saucepan. Return ham to the oven.
- Place the cornstarch in a small bowl, and stir 2 tablespoons of the juices from the saucepan into the cornstarch until well mixed. Stir cornstarch mixture back into the juices in the saucepan. Add the crushed pineapple (including any remaining juice) to the saucepan with the basting liquid. Add the brown sugar, pisco, and salt, and the mustard if desired. Bring mixture to a simmer, and cook, stirring often, until mixture thickens and is reduced to half, about 20-30 minutes.
- When the ham is fully heated (about 140 degrees internal temperature), remove from oven. Raise oven temperature to 400 degrees. Brush half of the pineapple glaze (from the saucepan) all over the surface of the ham (reserve remaining glaze for serving) Decorate the ham with pineapple rings if desired. Return ham to the oven, uncovered, and bake until glaze is caramelized and pineapple rings are golden, about 15 minutes.
- Serve ham warm with reserved glaze.