Espresso Chile Glazed Ham

For this, use a fully cooked smoked ham, preferably wood smoked with no water added. Trim the outside layer of fat and skin all the way to the pink meat, so when you're ready to carve you don't cut away all the flavorful glaze.


  • Half a fully cooked smoked ham (about 8 pounds)
  • 1 quart fresh orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup Kahlua or other coffee-flavored liqueur
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese chile paste with garlic, or sambal olek
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 shots (about 1/4 cup total) brewed espresso or 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder, like Medaglio d'Oro


  1. Heat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Cut the thick layer of fat and skin from the ham and discard. Place the ham in a roasting pan. (For easier clean up, line the pan with aluminum foil because the glaze will drip off and burn.) Roast the ham for 1 hour.
  3. While the ham is roasting, make the glaze. Combine the orange juice and zest, brown sugar, Kahlua, chile paste, and pepper in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer the mixture until it is reduced by about half and is as thick as maple syrup, about 35 minutes.
  4. Whisk in the espresso or espresso powder. You should have almost 2 cups of glaze. You are going to use half this glaze to brush the ham while it is roasting, and reserve the other half for brushing on the ham after it is sliced.
  5. After the first hour of cooking, brush the ham with the glaze. Roast for another hour, brushing with the glaze every 15 minutes. Since the ham is already cooked, you just need to warm it all the way through. Check for an internal temperature of 130 degrees F to 140 degrees F using an instant-read meat thermometer. Remove the ham from the oven when it is nicely browned and warmed through.
  6. To serve, slice the ham and brush the slices with the remaining glaze. For a lovely presentation, slice half the ham and arrange the slices against the unsliced part on a big platter. Brush the slices with the remaining glaze.

Yield: 16 or more servings

Source: Marshall Field & Company, Chicago, Illinois

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