This is very much like the ham served at Mother's in New Orleans. In New
Orleans, the ham of choice is Chisesi. You'll want to use a top-quality, lean,
naturally smoked ham. The glaze gives the ham its distinctive dark, crusty
appearance. Use a disposable pan; the drippings are hard to dislodge.
24 ounces root beer, preferably Barq's
1 1/2 tablespoons pepper jelly
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 tablespoons Caribbean-style steak sauce, such as Pickapeppa
1 stick cinnamon
1/2 orange, peel and juice
1/2 lemon, peel only
1 (4 to 5 pound) cured, smoked ham, preferably boneless
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the root beer,
the pepper jelly, the bay leaf, the steak sauce, the cloves, the
cinnamon, the orange peel and juice and the lemon peel. Bring the
mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cook for about 30
Remove the pan from the heat and strain the mixture, discarding the
Return the liquid to the pan and cook, on medium-low heat, until the
liquid is reduced to about 1/2 cup and is thick enough to coat a spoon,
about 30 minutes. If done in advance, transfer to a sealable container.
Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the ham on a rack in a disposable aluminum foil pan. Using a
knife, score the top half of the ham in a crisscross pattern. Spoon the
glaze over the entire ham to completely moisten the surface.
In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar and the dry mustard. Pat
the mixture all over the ham. Pour 1/2 cup of water into the pan. Bake
until the ham reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees F on a meat
thermometer, 3 to 4 hours.
While it is baking, spoon some of the glaze over the ham, letting it
dribble down the sides, at 15-minute intervals until the glaze is used
up. Add more water to the pan as needed to keep it from getting dry.
Transfer the ham to a work surface. Let it rest, uncovered, for
about 30 minutes before carving.
Recipe Source: Adapted from Tom Fitzmorris, a restaurant critic and radio
talk-show host and the author of "New Orleans Food," which was published by
Stewart, Tabori & Chang after this article appeared.