For years I used to prepare fully cooked honey baked hams for Easter and other special meals.  Fully cooked hams are convenient because they do not take a long time to cook, they are pre-glazed and they are often pre-cut into spiral slices.  But…. Fully cooked hams can also be expensive, and the reheating process can make them turn out dry and not as juicy as they should be.  So I decided to try baking a fresh ham. I went to the grocery store and selected a fresh ham that had not been pre-cooked, glazed or cut.  I picked a butt cut instead of a shank cut because I think a butt cut slices more cleanly around the bone.  A whole ham (butt cut plus shank cut) would have been too large!  I did make sure that the butt cut I selected had not had those nice center-cut ham steaks removed.  Next, I followed the cooking directions printed on the ham wrapping to the letter.  I placed the ham with its fat side up into a 2 inch deep roasting pan and I added 1 cup of water to the pan.  Using aluminum foil, I covered the whole ham and the pan to seal in the water so none of the water could escape as steam or evaporation while cooking.  I took care to seal the foil tightly all around and made a sort of tent across the top so that the foil would not lie directly on the top of the ham. In a 350 degree oven, I cooked the ham for 20 minutes per pound which took about 3 hours for my 9 pound ham.  The water provided plenty of moisture during cooking, so the ham did not dry out at all and was wonderfully juicy.  Then I removed the foil and brushed on my old ham glaze recipe and cooked it for another 10 minutes at 350 degrees.  Be sure to let the ham sit for 10 minutes after cooking for easy carving.  The recipe for the glaze follows below…. You can use this glaze recipe for baked ham, grilled ham steaks or for pork chops or kabobs.  Here are the ingredients: ¾ cup orange juice ⅓ cup Brown sugar 1 teaspoon powdered ground ginger 2 teaspoons honey 1 teaspoon vinegar Just combine all these ingredients and boil everything on high heat for about five minutes, let cool and apply.  Use leftover glaze as a sauce on the table. My family tells me that this ham was the best ham they had ever had, and I know it is because a fresh ham will turn out much more moist and tender than any pre-cooked, pre-sliced ham.  Enjoy!
Honey Baked Ham
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