No matter how otherwise impressive your spread of dishes might be, without a glossy, golden-brown ham at the center of the table, an Easter feast just doesn't feel complete. These seven recipes—for ham cooked sous vide, glazed with maple, rubbed with mustard and brown sugar, and more—will help you get the star player in your Easter dinner just right.
Need side dishes or desserts to complement your roast? You can find it all in our collection of Easter recipes.
Cooking big roasts for the holidays tends to bring out two of our worst fears. First, of course, there's the worry that we'll overcook it, thus destroying the enormous chunk of meat we've invested in. Second, we dread the judgment we'd get from all those aunts, uncles, and friends for screwing up the holiday meal. With a city ham cooked sous vide, you can put all those concerns aside: Not only is the meat precooked and pre-seasoned, it can be dropped directly into the sous vide water bath, in its original packaging, to reheat. When the ham is warm all the way through, place it on a baking sheet, crisp it in the oven, and glaze it with a simple and tasty mixture of brown sugar and balsamic vinegar. It doesn't get much easier than this.
This tender, juicy city ham gets finished off with a glaze of maple syrup and molasses for sweetness and whole grain mustard for a nice kick of spice. We recommend a shank-end, spiral-sliced, bone-in ham, which will come out of the oven crisp, shiny, and ready to impress.
It'll take some foresight and patience to get this ham on the table, but it's well worth your time. The ham will need to rest in cold water for at least a day before it goes into a low oven, where it'll steam gently with a mixture of water and Cherry Coke. Once that step is done, crank up the heat to 400°F to crisp and brown its exterior, and glaze it with a sweet-spicy combination of Coke, honey, brown sugar, black pepper, cloves, and cinnamon.
This ham is a far cry from the way-too-sweet ones you may be used to. Glazed with a bright, punchy mixture of brown sugar and Dijon mustard, the ham absorbs plenty of flavor during its slow cook; balsamic-coated cipollini onions, added to the same pan, roast and caramelize in the sweet drippings.
Since most hams come precooked and pre-seasoned, it can be a challenge to make one that really stands out, but this one does just that. We cook it on the grill for a deep smokiness that can't be replicated in an oven—even under the broiler. While it's grilling, we glaze the ham with a Filipino-inspired barbecue sauce that combines Coca-Cola, pineapple juice, soy sauce, ketchup, vinegar, and honey.
Our take on a Southern classic pairs a tangy, spiced sour cherry–glazed ham with lemony parsley potatoes. You can make the glaze a day ahead of time, so you don't have quite so many to-dos on your hands when guests start rolling into your kitchen. After Easter has passed by, mix a teaspoon of the leftover glaze with mayonnaise and spread it on thick slices of bread for ham sandwiches.
This spiral-cut ham is brushed with a mixture of balsamic vinegar, mustard, and apple jelly, for a glaze that's none too sweet. It pairs perfectly with a dish of basil-flecked English peas. Between the sweet-tart, smoky ham and bright peas, this recipe is the one to choose if you want your Easter table to be a full celebration of the start of spring.
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