Coca-Cola Ham

Coca-Cola Ham sm

Coca-Cola Ham is a Southern thing. The sweetness of the Coke pairs so well with the salty pork. It’s no wonder that generations of cooks have been preparing their holiday hams this way.

Don’t worry about measurements when making this recipe, just use your best judgement. It’s pretty hard to mess this up.

I usually serve the ham with some the Coca-Cola cooking liquid from the bottom of the pan. I also store any leftover ham in it.

Coca-Cola Ham

fully-cooked ham of your choice (I usually use a semi-boneless ham)
Dijon or brown mustard
brown sugar
Coca-Cola

Preheat the oven to 350º F.

Trim excess fat off the ham and then score it in a diamond pattern. At this point, I place the ham in the baking dish.

Rub a layer of Dijon (or brown) mustard all over the ham. The amount will vary depending on the size of the ham. For a 6-pound ham, I used about 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) of the mustard.

Ham with Mustard

Next, pack a layer of the brown sugar on top of the mustard-covered ham. I usually use twice as much brown sugar as mustard (but you can use more or less). Again, the amount will vary. For a 6-pound ham, I used 1/2 cup of brown sugar. Pour 1 to 1 1/2 cups of Coca-Cola in the bottom of the pan (not over the top of the ham).

Ham

Bake the ham for about 20 minutes per pound (That’s 2 hours for a 6-pound precooked ham). After the ham has been cooking for an hour, start basting it with the Coca-Cola/ham juices from the bottom of the pan every 20 minutes until done. For safety, use a meat thermometer to check to see if the ham is ready. You want the internal temperature of the ham to be about 145º F. Let the ham stand 15 minutes before slicing.

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Asparagus with Balsamic Butter Sauce

Asparagus with Balsamic Butter Sauce

Are you a fan of Allrecipes? I am! I have found some pretty fantastic recipes on the site, including this one for Asparagus with Balsamic Butter Sauce. It makes for a nice, flavorful side dish. A perfect addition to your Easter (or any) meal.

Find the recipe here.

Asparagus with Balsamic Butter Sauce 2


Steak and Guinness Pie

Steak and Guinness Pie

Steak and Guinness Pie is traditional Irish pub food. It is perfect for a comforting St. Patrick’s Day meal.

I like topping what is basically a steak and Guinness stew with squares of baked puff pastry. It’s pie, simplified. Plus, the baked puff pastry has more of a crunch. Alternatively, you can make it as a more traditional meat pie (like you would probably find in an Irish pub) by adding the cooked stew to a baking dish or ceramic pie plate and topping it with a sheet of puff pastry. Cut a couple of vent holes and bake at 400º F.  until the pastry is golden. Serve with mashed potatoes and more Guinness.

Steak and Guinness Pie

2 tablespoons canola oil
2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into bite-size pieces
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 ounces white mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 bottle Guinness (I used an 11.2 ounce bottle)
1 cup beef stock
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with enough water to make a slurry
1 sheet of frozen puff pastry (I use Pepperidge Farms brand)

Prepared mashed potatoes

Heat the oil in a pot over medium-high heat. Season the stew meat with salt and pepper and add to the pot. Cook, stirring often until evenly browned. Add the onions and cook until tender. Add the garlic and cook another minute. Next, add the mushrooms, Guinness, and beef stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and let cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 1/2 hours. Add the cornstarch and water slurry. Stir well to incorporate the slurry. Continue to cook, stirring more often then previously (because the stew is more likely to stick to the bottom of the pan once the cornstarch is added), for another 30 minutes or until the beef is very tender. Season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, remove the frozen puff pastry from the freezer and let thaw for at least 30 minutes. The thawed pastry should be easy to unfold. Cut the pastry in half lengthwise and then across three times to make 8 equal-sized squares of pastry. Preheat the oven to 400º F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Place the pastry squares on the lined baking sheet and bake until golden, about 12 to 15 minutes.

Serve over mashed potatoes and top with a baked puff pastry square.

To make a LID (low iodine diet) safe Steak and Guinness stew, use kosher salt and unsalted beef stock. Don’t use the puff pastry (unless you check the ingredients and see it is acceptable for LID). Pepperidge Farms Puff Pastry contains soybean oil (which is not allowed on some versions of LID).

Steak and Guinness Pie