Ree's Dr Pepper-Glazed Ham Is the Only Recipe You'll Need This Easter
2024/02/13

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is coming—the goose is getting fat!

Wait. That's Christmas.

And Christmas isn't coming. At least not for another 200+ days.

Okay, now that I've both confused and depressed everyone: Here's the recipe for my yummy sweet-glazed ham—the same I'll be making for with all the best . It's totally easy, exceedingly delicious, and results in a purty and glossy Easter ham that'll make your guests say "Oooooooh!" with wide, expectant eyes and, hopefully, hearty appetites because this ham could feed an army. If you're not feeding an army, you'll likely have some . To me, that's one of the best parts of cooking a ham—just imagine all the possibilities!

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What's the secret to the best holiday ham?

Let's get something straight: Is glazing a ham necessary? No. Is it worth it? Yes! Ham is just regular 'ol ham until you top it with a tangy, sweet, sticky, addictive glaze. For this one, all you have to do is pop open a can of Dr Pepper and mix it with mustard, brown sugar, and apple cider vinegar. Since the ham comes from the grocery store pre-cooked, this is an easy extra step that results in major flavor. Plus, it gives it that gorgeous glossy, lacquered look that just screams holiday ham! 

What kind of ham is best for Easter dinner?

Look for a fully-cooked, bone-in ham that isn't spiral cut—it stays juicier in the oven! Shank-end hams are the big, beautiful ones you're used to seeing for the holidays and those work great here.

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Just remember to do the math on is needed before you put in your order with the butcher!

When should I put my glaze on my ham?

The idea is to wait until the ham is almost fully heated, then add the glaze as one of the last steps. You don't want to add it too early or the sugars in the glaze could cause it to burn, and you don't want to add it too late or you won't get that caramelized coating. I usually bake the ham for about 2 hours before adding some of the glaze. Then I'll pop it back in the oven for 20 minutes, add more glaze, and repeat. The goal is to repeat this process until the ham is nice and glossy.

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The magic happens when you glaze it 2 or 3 or 4 times.

Do you cook a ham covered or uncovered?

Cover the ham to keep it moist! I've found that just tenting the ham with foil does the job. Keep it tented until you brush on the glaze. Once glaze in on the ham, remove the foil so the glaze has a chance to get all caramelized and yummy.

What can you do with leftover ham?

What you do is the real question. Since this is a bone-in ham, save the bone and make for future soups and stews! With leftover ham, make something breakfast-y like quiche, toss it into your favorite pasta dish or on top of a pizza, or just make a really good

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.  

whole fully cooked bone-in ham (15 to 18 pounds)

1

whole fully cooked bone-in ham (15 to 18 pounds)

whole cloves

3 c.

brown sugar

1/2 c.

spicy brown mustard

1

can Dr Pepper or Coke

3 tbsp.

apple cider vinegar

Step  1 Preheat the oven to 325°F. Step  2 Score the surface of the ham in a diamond pattern about 1/8-inch deep. Place cloves in the middle of each diamond. Place the ham in a large roasting pan with a rack, tent it with foil, and bake for 2 to 2 1/2 hours—or longer, depending on the package directions. (Some hams may require 3 to 3 1/2 hours at a lower temperature; just check the package.) Step  3 In a small saucepan, heat the brown sugar, mustard, vinegar, and soda until bubbly.

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Cook until reduced and a bit thicker, about 15 minutes. Step  4 After about 2 hours of baking time, remove the foil and brush the glaze on the ham in 20 minutes intervals (put the ham back in the oven, uncovered, in between) until it's nice and glossy. Remove from the oven and allow to rest 15 to 20 minutes before carving.


Get a big honkin’ bone-in ham. Fully cooked.

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Use a really sharp knife to score a diamond pattern all over the surface of the ham: First cut lines in one direction…


Then cut in the other direction.


Grab a handful of cloves and poke them into the center of each diamond…

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And keep going until the whole surface is dotted. I do this for looks more than flavor: I just think it looks lovely and traditional when it’s all done baking.


Cover the ham with foil, then put it into the oven to warm it up. I do 325 for at least 2 to 2 1/2 hours, but I’d say just look at the instructions on the package and follow those. Some hams say to go 3 to 4 hours, some at a lower temperature.

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The whole goal here is just to heat the ham slowly…and it takes awhile to do that.


While the ham is in the oven, you can make the glaze: Throw 3 cups of brown sugar into a saucepan…


Along with 1/2 cup of grainy, spicy mustard for a nice tang…


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3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar for a little bite…


And the star of the show!


A whole can of Dr Pepper.

You can use Coke. Heck, you could probably even use root beer. But please, for the love of all things good and caramelized, do not use diet pop.

(It’s the sugar we’re after here.)

Amen.


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Bring this mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat…


And simmer it for a good 15-20 minutes until it’s gotten darker and thicker.


After the ham has cooked for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, brush the surface with some of the glaze. Then pop it back into the oven, uncovered, for another 20 minutes or so.


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Pull it out and brush on more glaze, then pop it back in the oven.


Then pull it out and brush on more glaze! Keep doing this until the ham is fully heated and the glaze is really gorgeous and glossy.


Mmmm. Easter feast!


Enjoy, guys. This ham’ll take you far in life.

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