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Recipe: Chef Kevin's Holiday Ham

Chef Kevin shares a classic backed ham recipe just in time for Thanksgiving!


Holiday Ham

  • 8-10 pound bone-in or boneless fully cooked ham
  • 1/3 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup whole cloves

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees and arrange a rack in the lower third. Remove any plastic packaging or netting from the ham. Trim away the rind and discard. Set the ham aside to rest at room temperature for 1 hour.

Line a baking tray or dish with several sheets of aluminum foil or parchment paper if you prefer, it will make cleanup a lot easier.

Remove the rind or skin of the ham, ensuring you leave the fat on. Using a sharp knife score a 1-inch-wide diamond pattern, don’t cut more than 1/4 inch deep, over the entire ham. Insert cloves into the centre of each diamond.

Place the ham in the baking tray; pour the pineapple juice into the base of the pan and cover the ham with two pieces of foil or parchment paper and bake for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the butter in a small pot or saucepan over medium heat until golden browned. Add in the honey and brown sugar, stirring to combine until the brown sugar has completely dissolved.

Reduce heat to low and let simmer to thicken slightly, then set aside and let cool to lukewarm.

After 15 minutes baking time, carefully remove the ham from the oven and increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees. Discard the foil or parchment paper and pour 1/3 of the glaze all over the ham, brushing in between the cuts to evenly cover. Return to the oven and bake uncovered for 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven, brush with another third of the glaze and some of the pan juices, and repeat again after 15 minutes more minutes of baking until a dark golden-brown crust has formed. For added depth of flavour, mix some of the ham pan juices together with the glaze in the pot which will help keep it runny enough for brushing.

If your crust is still pink after the suggested baking time, turn on your broiler and allow it to broil for 2-5 minutes, while keeping an eye on it so it doesn't burn from the sugar. 

Let the ham rest 10-15 minutes before slicing. 

Removing the Rind

When you buy your ham, you’ll notice right underneath the rind there is a gorgeous layer off fat. DON’T trim this away. This fat turns into a beautiful crispy and sticky coating for your glaze and is delicious. 

Cut a line through the skin all around the shank end.

Insert a sharp knife between the rind and fat and run it along to detach both layers.

Using your fingers, gently separate the rind from the fat.

Peel off and discard the rind.

Run knife cutting into the fat layer about 1/4-inch deep to lightly score diamond pattern all over the surface.

Once your ham is in the oven, get started on your glaze.

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