Monday, December 26, 2011


I had planned on making a turkey or turkey breast for Christmas but after seeing the prices and looking at my checkbook balance I decided to use the ham I bought at Aldi's a couple weeks ago.  I had been shopping at Aldi's when I noticed a sign taped to the ham freezer section saying $5 off all shank and butt hams.  As the ham was less then $10 to begin with, the $5 mark down put it below $5, which made it an even better buy.   Yes, these hams have more fat on them then spiral cuts but it adds flavor during cooking and the dogs love the treats which are good for their dry skin this time a year.  I hadn't planned to use the ham for Christmas but figured we'd cut it up for sandwiches and soups.  It was a very fine choice for our meal.  This ham was so moist and had so much flavor it was hard to stop eating.  Since it was just the two of us I served it with scalloped potatoes and a salad.  Matt fixed leftover slices with fried eggs this morning for breakfast and is already talking about me making some ham and bean soup.  This ham will easily break down into future meals costing less than $1 each.

My Christmas Baked Ham:

1 ham shank
1 cup apple cider
3 tbsp maple syrup
3 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp ground cloves
1+ tbsp stone ground mustard

I used my cast iron dutch oven to bake this in and baked it with the cover on but you could put foil over a pan if you don't have a dutch oven or small roaster.  Put ham into pan.  Mix apple cider, maple syrup, brown sugar, ground cloves, and mustard together and pour over ham.  Cook for 1 hr. @ 350'.  Remove and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes and then slice.


* You could also stud the ham with cloves for additional flavor. 

*  Apple juice could be used instead of the apple cider. 

*  Here in Michigan Vernor's ginger ale is frequently used but any ginger ale could be substituted for a variation of this. 

*  Another variation would be using pineapple juice and tossing in pineapple chunks for a sweeter flavor.

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