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Orange Bourbon Glazed Ham

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This festive, oven-baked, orange bourbon glazed ham is a table masterpiece you’ll want to make for every holiday, whether it’s Thanksgiving, Christmas or Easter. Salty ham is paired with the most incredible sticky glaze with the subtle flavours of citrus, maple, holiday spices and bourbon. Don’t worry, it’s alcohol-free as most of that is evaporated during cooking. This is the Christmas ham I plan to make this year.


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Bourbon Glazed Ham

If you’re looking for a spectacular, yet easy to make Christmas or Thanksgiving ham recipe, this orange bourbon glazed ham is THE recipe you have to try.

It’s everything a holiday ham should be – glossy, shiny, sticky sweet on the outside and salty on the inside, regal, festive and magical.

Plus, it’s affordable and the meat stretches a long way (including the leftovers) and is low-risk to make. Honestly, it’s much easier than you might think and only requires some love and attention to baste and glaze the ham while it’s baking. Bonus: Your house will smell amazing!

Below, I am going to show you how to make this oven-baked ham with a simple, yet incredible orange bourbon maple glaze. Make it for the next holiday table and your guest will be asking you for the recipe!

🎊 For more festive recipes, check out my Thanksgiving recipes, Christmas dishes and Easter ideas. You might also like crusted rack of lamb with herbs & macadamia huts, my roast pork tenderloin with orange maple glaze, or my oven-baked brisket with Balsamic reduction glaze.

Orange Bourbon Glazed Ham

Which Ham To Buy?

Cooked ham – for glazed ham, you need to get cooked ham (ready-to-eat, usually smoked type), not a raw one (also known as gammon). In Australia, most ham is ready to eat, especially around the holidays.

Leg or shoulder – You can use the leg of ham or ham shoulder (which is what I used here). It can be a large whole leg or a half, depending on how many people you’re catering for. This recipe will work with both half and whole hams. For larger hams, scale up the glaze ingredients as needed. It’s always better to make more glaze than less.

Rind on ham – You need the ham that has its rind on (looks like thick skin). Underneath this skin is a fat layer which is essential for delicious, sticky ham. In some hams, the rind and fat and removed and those could also be used if that’s all you can get. You will have to score the meat slightly.

leg of ham

How Much Ham Per Person? 

Ham is often not the only protein on the table, so most people only have 1-2 slices with a few sides.

  • On average, you’re looking at 100-150 grams or 4 oz of ham per person. So 1 kg/ 2lb of ham should feed between 6-8 people. My recipe is for 3 kg / 6.5 lb of ham, so that’s around 20-22 servings. 
  • If ham is the only protein on the table, I would recommend about 150 g / 5 oz per person, and you can do the math.  PS. Our family is quite small, so I always end up with leftover ham for days!

Ingredients For Ham Glaze

This is a delicious glaze for ham with a touch of bourbon for extra depth. You will need:

  • Orange juice – the base for the glaze, gives it a festive and citrusy flavour.
  • Orange marmalade – get the smoothest kind you can, adds sweetness and a little bitterness, giving you a much more sophisticated flavour.
  • Brown sugar – adds to the caramelised flavour of the glaze.
  • Maple syrup – The nutty, caramel-like flavour of maple is gorgeous with bourbon and orange.
  • Warm spices– I used Mixed spice and ground clove; you can play around here with Allspice, cinnamon, ginger or nutmeg.
  • Worcestershire sauce -adds a little acidity, spice and savoury notes, this is optional.
See also  Cilantro Orange Chicken with Rice and Beans Recipe

How To Make Orange Bourbon Glazed Ham

Find the full list of ingredients, nutritional info, and instructions in the recipe card below. Here are some step-by-step pics to guide you along. The process has 3 main stages:

  1. Remove the rind from the ham and score the fat.
  2. Make the glaze.
  3. Bake the ham for about 1.5-2 hours (depending on size), basting/brushing it with the glaze every 15-20 minutes. Once removed from the oven, brush with more glaze for extra shiny, glossy finish.

How To Remove Rind From Ham

The rind is chewy and gummy and doesn’t really get crispy during cooking, so you have to remove it. This will expose the fat layer, which will render off quite a bit during baking and get all sweet, sticky and caramelised. Plus, the glaze will seep into the fleshy part of the ham, which it can’t do if the rind is there.

  • Insert a sharp knife between the rind and the fat and run it along to detach both layers.
  • Then, use your fingers to gently separate the rind from the fat.
  • Simply run the finger under the rind (with some pressure), and it will peel off quite easily. If it gets stuck at any stage, use the knife to detach it.
  • Peel off all of the rind but you can leave some on the narrow, handle part of the leg or shoulder.

Score the fat to get a diamond pattern all over the surface. Cut diagonal lines going both ways, making 1-2cm-wide strips. Most people recommend only cutting through some of the fat but I like to go all the way to the meat so that more glaze can penetrate the ham. The choice is more aesthetic, in my opinion.

With the ham shoulder, I cut off the rounded edge on the front and scored the meat for visual effect.

How To Make Glaze For Ham

Simply add all glaze ingredients to a shallow pan or a pot, bring to a boil and then simmer for 10-15 minutes, until it’s reduced and thickened.

You have to stir frequently and MAKE SURE you don’t over-reduce it. You want it to be thickened enough to leave a trace on a spoon but not as thick as honey. The glaze will thicken more once it cools down so it can be deceiving while it’s still hot and can be easily over-cooked, giving you a really thick glaze, which will be hard to spread.

You will use this glaze to brush over the ham before and during baking. However, once there are baking pan juices, they will become part of the basting glaze.

Bake Ham In The Oven

Brush the ham all over (bottom, top and sides) with the glaze using a pastry brush. Alternatively, use a spoon to drizzle the glaze over. Place in a large baking dish that can catch the juices and place in the oven, on a lower shelf. Don’t place the dish too close to the top grill part of the oven as the ham will burn too quickly.

How Long To Cook A Ham?

This will depend on the size of the ham but generally speaking 1.5 to 2 hours is sufficient to heat through the meat and to caramelise and brown the glazed outside of the ham.

I usually let the ham bake for 20-25 minutes to render off some of the fat and to get the pan juices going. Then I baste the ham with the pan juices and brush with extra glaze every 15-20 minutes, until I reach total cooking time or the ham looks like it’s done.

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Some of the edges might be more exposed to heat and will darken faster, in which case you can protect those with pieces of foil. Make sure to rotate the ham in the oven every time you put it back to ensure even baking.

Recipe Tips

  • Use the ham with the rind and fat on it and remove just the rind. Score the fat for that gorgeous diamond pattern look.
  • When making the glaze, reduce the liquid slightly but don’t over-cook it as it will get too chicken when cooled, and will be impossible to slather on the ham.
  • Use the pan juices to baste them before brushing with extra glaze. Those juices will thicken and brown as they cook, incorporating the dripping fat and glaze from the ham. This liquid is PURE GOLD and is SO flavoursome, you want to get as much of it on the ham as possible. In the end, this pan gravy will be the final glaze that goes on the ham when serving.
  • Protect any parts of the ham that start to burn with foil. You will not lose the caramelisation underneath. Simply peel the foil off when finished cooking.
  • Make sure to reserve the pan juices and the glaze to brush over the ham once it’s rested out of the oven. You can serve any extras in a ramekin as ham gravy.
  • Feel free to use honey instead of maple syrup for a slightly different flavoured glaze. You can also use white sugar instead of brown.
  • Try whiskey, pork, sherry or Grand Marnier instead of bourbon.
Bourbon Glazed Ham With Orange

What To Serve With Ham

Serve the ham on a platter with pan juices and glaze basted over the top. Extra juice and glaze can be mixed to create a side sauce that’s loaded with flavour. Warm it up so it’s pourable and drizzle sparingly as the flavour is strong.

I like to serve a few other condiments on the side such as a variety of mustards, chutneys, cranberry sauce, aioli, pickles/gherkins and so on.

Glazed ham is usually served as part of a festive holiday spread with a few side dishes. What you serve depends on the holiday, the season and the weather!

For a Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, I would serve baked ham with something like creamy mashed potatoes, scalloped potatoes or even roasted spuds. Macaroni and cheese is another comfort food that pairs nicely with ham. Then you need something more savoury and crunchy to freshen up the flavours, like steamed or sauteed green beans, grilled asparagus, garlic broccoli or lovely, crisp green salad.

If you’re serving this orange bourbon ham for lunch (especially during warmer seasons), I recommend a potato salad, a festive coleslaw, or some delicious soft bread rolls, cornbread or sliced focaccia.

If you have leftover ham, make sure to keep it as there are many dishes you can make!

Christmas ham with orange bourbon glaze

Full Recipe 

Find the full list of ingredients, instructions, and a nutritional breakdown below. If you have questions or cook this recipe, please let me know in the comments, and make sure to rate this recipe so it’s easy for others to find.

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Description

Learn how to make delicious baked ham with orange bourbon glaze. Perfect for the holidays, whether you need a Christmas ham, a Thanksgiving centrepiece or an Easter lunch main. See notes for the amount of ham per person, plus make-ahead tips. More step-by-step photos and notes on ingredients can be found higher in this recipe post.


For the orange bourbon glaze

To garnish:


  • Preheat the oven to 170 C. Remove the ham out of the fridge 30 minutes to 1 hour before cooking.

Remove Rind From Ham

  • The rind is chewy and gummy and doesn’t really get crispy during cooking, so you have to remove it. This will expose the fat layer, which will render off quite a bit during baking and get all sweet, sticky and caramelised. Plus, the glaze will seep into the fleshy part of the ham, which it can’t do if the rind is there.
  • Insert a sharp knife between the rind and the fat and run it along to detach both layers. Then, use your fingers to gently separate the rind from the fat. Simply run the finger under the rind (with some pressure), and it will peel off quite easily. If it gets stuck at any stage, use the knife to detach it. Peel off all of the rind but you can leave some on the narrow, handle part of the leg or shoulder. 
See also  Garlic Shrimp and Tomatoes with Parmesan Orzo Recipe

how to remove ham rind

Score The Ham

  • Score the fat to get a diamond pattern all over the surface. Cut diagonal lines going both ways, making 1-2cm-wide strips. Most people recommend only cutting through some of the fat but I like to go all the way to the meat so that more glaze can penetrate the ham. The choice is more aesthetic, in my opinion.
  • With the ham shoulder, I cut off the rounded edge on the front and scored the meat for visual effect.

Score marks on ham fat

Make The Glaze

  • Simply add all glaze ingredients to a shallow pan or a pot, bring to a boil and then simmer for 10-15 minutes, until it’s reduced and thickened.
  • You have to stir frequently and MAKE SURE you don’t over-reduce it. You want it to be thickened enough to leave a trace on a spoon but not as thick as honey. The glaze will thicken more once it cools down so it can be deceiving while it’s still hot and can be easily over-cooked, giving you a really thick glaze, which will be hard to spread.
  • You will use this glaze to brush over the ham before and during baking. However, once there are baking pan juices, they will become part of the basting glaze.

Orange bourbon glaze reduced

Bake & Glaze The Ham

  • Brush the ham all over (bottom, top and sides) with the glaze using a pastry brush. Alternatively, use a spoon to drizzle the glaze over. Place in a large baking dish that can catch the juices and place in the oven, on a lower shelf. Don’t place the dish too close to the top grill part of the oven as the ham will burn too quickly.

Brush ham with glaze

  • How long to cook a ham? This will depend on the size of the ham but generally speaking 1.5 to 2 hours is sufficient to heat through the meat and to caramelise and brown the glazed outside of the ham.
  • Let the ham bake for 20-25 minutes to render off some of the fat and to get the pan juices going. Then baste the ham with the pan juices and brush with extra glaze every 15-20 minutes, until you reach the total cooking time of about 1.5 hours or when the ham looks like it’s browned and caramelised all over.

Glazing the ham

  • Some of the edges might be more exposed to heat and will darken faster, in which case you can protect those with pieces of foil. Make sure to rotate the ham in the oven every time you put it back to ensure even baking.
  • Once done, remove the ham from the oven and let it rest for 10-15 minutes, then transfer to a serving platter. Pour all the glaze juices into a bowl or a jug and mix well. Use some to or drizzle brush over the ham once it’s on a serving platter and leave the rest in the jug to serve alongside ham on the table.

Baked glazed ham on a platter

Prepare Orange Slices

  • While the ham is baking, you can prepare charred orange slices for garnish. Slice 2-3 oranges into thin slices. Drizzle a large frying pan or a skillet with olive oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add the orange slices and cook until charred, about 2 minutes each side. Set aside.

Pan frying orange slices

  • Serve the ham on a big platter with orange slices and rosemary twigs for garnish. Drizzled extra glaze over the top. Slice thinly when serving.


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 4 oz / 120 g ham with glaze
  • Calories: 202
  • Sugar: 7.7 g
  • Sodium: 1509.9 mg
  • Fat: 7.7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 9.6 g
  • Fiber: 0.1 g
  • Protein: 21.7 g
  • Cholesterol: 87.9 mg

Keywords: Christmas Ham, Holiday Ham, Baked Ham, Glazed Ham, Thanksgiving Ham, How To Make Glazed Ham, Bourbon Glazed Ham, Ham Recipes, Easter Ham

Baked glazed ham

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