Mustard- and Brown Sugar–Rubbed Ham With Balsamic-Roasted Onions Recipe

This ham leans more savory than sweet, thanks to a rub of mustard, brown sugar, and balsamic.

This ham leans more savory than sweet, thanks to a rub of mustard, brown sugar, and balsamic. Jennifer Olvera

Why It Works

  • A sharp glaze with just a mild sweetness helps cut through the rich smokiness of the ham.
  • Using pan drippings to roast cipollini onions keep the onions moist while adding flavor.
  • Basting the ham every 20 minutes as it bakes helps it pick up color faster, while still cooking it through at a gentle pace.

If you've found most ham to be on the dry side, with cloyingly sweet glazes, this recipe will help you learn to love it again. Glazed with a bright, sharp mixture of brown sugar and mustard, this ham comes served with onions roasted right in the meaty pan drippings.

Recipe Facts

Active: 15 mins
Total: 2 hrs 30 mins
Serves: 12 to 14 servings

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  • 1 (10 to 12-pound) smoked cured city ham

  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard

  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, divided

  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 pound cipollini onions, peeled

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons honey


  1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 325°F. Remove ham from packaging and drain thoroughly. Place cut side down in roasting pan. Using a paring knife, score the ham to create a diamond pattern, taking care to only cut through the first inch or so.

  2. In a small bowl, combine mustard, brown sugar, 1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine. Rub mixture on ham, taking care to get it into the cracks.

  3. Combine onions, remaining 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and honey in a medium mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper and toss well to coat. Transfer to the baking pan, and arrange onions around the ham.

  4. Place ham in the oven and cook, basting every 2o to 30 minutes with pan juices, until ham is browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the deepest part registars 130 to 140°F, about 2 hours. Tent with foil if ham starts to brown too rapidly.

  5. Remove ham from oven and let rest, tented with foil, for 10 to 15 minutes. Spoon out onions with a slotted spoon and pour pan drippings into a measuring cup. Carefully skim fat off of pan drippings. Slice ham and serve immediately with onions and drippings.

Special equipment

Roasting pan

This Recipe Appears In

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
355 Calories
8g Fat
28g Carbs
44g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12 to 14
Amount per serving
Calories 355
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8g 10%
Saturated Fat 2g 12%
Cholesterol 53mg 18%
Sodium 2335mg 102%
Total Carbohydrate 28g 10%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 44g
Vitamin C 3mg 17%
Calcium 29mg 2%
Iron 1mg 7%
Potassium 472mg 10%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)