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The Food Lab

Cherry Coke-Glazed Country Ham

Cherry Coke-Glazed Country Ham

For best results, get a good quality ham like Benton's.

Note: Before roasting your ham, you'll need to clean it and soak it. Rub it with a scrubby sponge under cool running water to remove any surface mold or salty deposits, then transfer it to a cooler and fill the cooler with cold water. Let the ham rest at room temperature in the water for at least 1 day, changing the water every 6 to 8 hours. If your ham is especially well-aged, let it soak for up to two days. Country hams must be sliced very thin!

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About the author: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is the Chief Creative Officer of Serious Eats where he likes to explore the science of home cooking in his weekly column The Food Lab. You can follow him at @thefoodlab on Twitter, or at The Food Lab on Facebook.

Cherry Coke-Glazed Country Ham

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About This Recipe

Yield:about 20
Active time:30 minutes
Total time:3 1/2 hours
This recipe appears in: The Food Lab Redux: 7 Pork Dishes for the Holidays The Food Lab: How to Pick and Cook a Holiday Ham
Rated:

Ingredients

  • 1 country ham, 10 to 15 pounds, soaked (see note)
  • 1 liter Cherry Coke (or Dr. Pepper)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Procedures

  1. 1

    Adjust oven rack to lower position and preheat oven to 250°F. Place ham fat-side up on rack set over roasting pan. Pour 2 cups water and 2 cups Coke into bottom of pan and seal tightly with aluminum foil (you may need 2 or 3 pieces). Transfer to oven and cook until ham reaches 125°F in center when tested with an instant-read thermometer, 3 to 4 hours, depending on size and shape.

  2. 2

    Meanwhile, combine remaining coke, honey, brown sugar, black pepper, ground cloves, and cinnamon in small saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally until thick and syrupy, about 15 minutes.

  3. 3

    When ham has reached 125°F, remove from oven, uncover, and score fat cap in crosshatch pattern, making slices about 1-inch apart. Paint with 1/3 of glaze, increase oven temperature to 400 degrees, and bake 5 minutes. Paint with 1/3 more glaze and bake until crisp and shiny, 10 minutes longer. Remove from oven and paint with remaining glaze. Tent with foil and allow to rest 30 minutes before slicing and serving.

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