Virginia hams are always tasty. They are very easy to prepare and the oven actually does all the work. So you need not fear that there is too much work involved because that is simply not true. Ham is a great choice for dinner; around the holidays and even for family reunions too. There is always plenty of ham to go around. Why not try one out for a special Sunday meal with the family…they will love the surprise and enjoy your tasty meal.
The days are passing faster the closer we get to the holidays. It is wise to plan ahead to pick up the ham of your choice before they disappear off the shelves. You may have already purchased your ham from Sam’s Club, Spain’s, Wal-mart or even SuperValu and placed it in the freezer already. If not get your ham while the sales are on and you are not left without the main course. Don’t forget to take the ham out at least 2-3 days before you plan on cooking it. It will take some time to thaw.
- Virginia ham
- Maraschino cherries
- Pineapple slices
- A few whole cloves (optional)
Our preference is to purchase a whole ham or half a ham. Not particularly fond of spiral cut hams because they do have a tendency to get very dry especially when reheating the left-over’s.
- Preheat oven to 350′.
- First thing to do is rinse the ham after taking it out of the plastic wrapper.
- Place fat side up in a big roasting pan.
- Using a sharp knife, slice into the fat about 1/4 of an inch deep.
- Then carve lines one way, then again the other way in a crisscross pattern.
- The top of the ham will show off the designs you just carved resembling a parallelogram.
- These cuts should be at least 2-3 inches apart from each other. You don’t want to cut them too close.
- By now the oven is already heated. Place the ham in the oven with a cover or lid on the roasting pan.
- Cook the ham at 350′. The time involved depends upon the weight of the ham purchased. Normal cooking time is 20 minutes per pound.
- When the oven timer reads that there is 30 minutes left to cook remove the roasting pan and place it upon the stove top.
- Next, drain the can of pineapple slices and lay them on top of the squares that you cut into the top of the ham.
- When all the slices are in place add a cherry in the center of each slice.
- Then take a toothpick and press it through the cherry about 1/3 – 1/2 of the way down the toothpick. This will ensure that the cherries and pineapple slices do not fall into the bottom of the pan and burn. But, rather stay atop the ham and bring some of its sweetness into the meat itself.
- Reset the oven timer back to 30 minutes and place the roasting pan with the ham back in the oven to finish its final cooking stage.
- Remove pan from oven and wait about 10 minutes before placing on large cutting board or large carving platter.
- The whole ham can be put at the table to carve or you can do it in the kitchen and bring out a plate full of slices. Either way your meal will be delicious.
- Store left-over’s in Tupperware or airtight containers to lock in freshness for another day.
- The cooked ham can also be frozen for another time if you bought too large of a ham.
- Left-over ham is great for creating ham steaks if you cut thick slices off the side.
- Or prepare ham sandwiches and omelets.
- Then cut some ham into small cubes and add a wonderful flavor to a homemade soup.
- Roasting pan will be extremely hot as well as the ham. Be very careful when removing pan from the oven. Always use oven mitts or pot holders.
- When transferring the ham onto a carving platter, be sure to use heavy utensils to lift and place it. You don’t want to drop it or have the juices splash back at you.
- Get help from your husband … he’ll be glad to do it…knowing what a wonderful meal you prepared for him and your family.
Copyright 2010 Beverly Mucha / All Rights Reserved