25 August 2012

Whiskey and Cider Glazed Ham with Colcannon

I know I'm pushing the Fall thing, but it's presence is ever closer - just look at all that goldenrod that's in bloom! SB and I went for a bike ride today out along one of  the New Hampshire rail trail bike paths. This one was over in Jaffrey. There were clumps of goldenrod along the path and ponds carpeted with defunct lilypads ... limp, drooping blossoms laying on the water and bullfrogs 'galumphing' away.

It reminded me of that adorable Paul McCartney animated short called Rupert and the Frog Song that I watched with my kids when they were sprouts. I hummed the song as we pedalled along the old path .... bum,bum,bum, yaddy-yah,bum,bum,bum yaddy-yah! We All Stand Together!

Anyway, as we pedalled back toward the car, I got to thinking about dinner and this ham that I've been thawing out. A fine Fall meal awaits ... and the leftovers will make The Lodger's lunches for the next few days ... ham sandwiches, ham salad, and a ham and scalloped potato dinner. And then, there will be that hambone! Yum! This is a simple glazed ham with an apple cider whiskey sugar glaze, some boozey roasted carrot chunks and a big pan of Colcannon.

These first Fall meals are always such a treat after all the tomatoes and cucumbers and basil and kale, greens, and spinach, corn on the cob and beans, summer squash and zucchini ... we will still have the best of Summer's produce for a few more weeks, but a Fall meal this evening will really hit the spot! I'm betting that you are beginning to have the stirrings to make your favorite Fall fare too! I CAN'T be alone here!

Whiskey and Cider Glazed Ham


7 – 8 lb. smoked ham, bone-in and fully cooked
Whole cloves for poking in the ham
½ c. Irish whiskey
1 ½ c. sweet cider
1 cinnamon stick
½ c. dark brown sugar
¼ c. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. black pepper
¾ tsp. allspice
1 c. water
2 tsp. cornstarch
1 large onion
1 lb. carrots, peeled and sliced into chunks on the diagonal

Making the Dish:

  1. Lay the ham in a deep bowl and pour boiling water over it. Soak the ham for a few hours to remove some of the salt.
  2. Rinse the ham off and place it on a large cutting board. Slice through the thick skin and gently peel it away, leaving a coating of fat. Score the fat in diamonds and pierce with whole cloves, pushing them deep into the ham flesh.
  3. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Peel the onion and slice it crosswise into three uniformly thick pieces. Place the pieces in the bottom of a deep roasting pan so that they form a natural rack to hold the ham up off the bottom of the pan.
  4. Place the ham flat side down on the onions.
  5. Pour the water, half the whiskey and half the cider over the ham, cover the pan closely with a tent of tin foil. Bake for 35 minutes.
  6. While the ham begins baking, mix the other half of the cider, brown sugar, cinnamon stick, black pepper, and allspice in a small saucepan. Place over medium heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved and the spices begin to release their scents.
  7. Whisk together the Dijon mustard, the other half of the whiskey and the cornstarch and add it to the cider and spice mixture. Stir until it begins to thicken up a bit. Turn off the heat and set it aside.
  8. When the ham has cooked for the 35 minutes. Remove the foil tent and brush with ¼ of the glaze mixture. Return to the oven and set the time for 20 minutes. After twenty minutes, repeat with another ¼ of the glaze, adding the chunks of carrots to the pan juices around the ham.
  9. Set the timer for another 20 minutes and repeat brushing the ham with the glaze. After you have brushed the ham three times, check the carrots. They should be beginning to soften in the juices.
  10. When you have brushed the ham for the fourth time, remove the ham to a platter, tent with the foil and let it rest for 15 minutes.
  11. While the ham rests, increase the oven temperature to 425°F, use a slotted spoon to take the carrots and onion slices from the boozy, sweet juices and plop them on a rimmed pan that you’ve spritzed with oven spray. Pop them into the hot oven to finish roasting.  Shake them around a bit to brown them up on their sides.
  12. Carve the ham into thin slices and arrange the carrots and onions around the ham. Serve with a big dish of Colcannon, cold beers, and a simple green salad.
    Serves: 4
    1 lb. red skin potatoes, peeled
    ½ large head cabbage, green or Savoy, sliced into thin ribbons
    6 perfect scallions, washed, tipped, and sliced into ¼ inch coins and rings
    4 tbsp. unsalted butter
    1 c. sour cream or crème fraiche
    ½ to ¾ c. light cream
    Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
    A sprinkle of nutmeg – optional
    Making the Dish:
    1. Peel and cut the potatoes into uniform sized pieces. Place them in a deep pan of cold water and bring to a gentle boil. Lower the heat and let the potatoes cook gently until softened.
    2. Drain the potatoes and mash them with the sour cream, 2 tbsp. of the butter and some of the light cream. Top with the scallions, but don’t stir them in. Cover the pan and let the ambient heat of the potatoes wilt the scallions.
    3. Meanwhile, heat a large fry pan and melt the other 2 tbsp. of butter. Add the cabbage ribbons and toss to cook with the butter. Add Kosher salt and black pepper to taste. When the cabbage has wilted, but still has a bit of crunchy bite to it, fold the potatoes and scallions in and stir everything together to make the lumpy dish.
    4. If the potatoes are too thick, add some more light cream and cover to heat through.
    5. Turn the Colcannon into a large serving dish and sprinkle with a bit of black pepper and the nutmeg (if desired). Serve while piping hot.






  1. What a great meal. The ham looks so delicious and of course the colcannon mouthwatering. I walk on a bike path through the woods too. It is so peaceful and quiet. I always get a little sad that I have to give up my morning walks. I go with a friend and we usually walk for and hour or so. With school starting there isn't enough time.

  2. What a beautiful ham! And the Whiskey-Cider glaze sounds delicious. We're still holding on to that last days of summer here, although the nights are cooler now we still insist on al fresco dining until we start to shiver. It's almost time to switch from days at the lake to walks in the woods when that ham will make for some yummy sandwiches...

  3. Gorgeous ham! I love the addition of allspice, cinnamon and whiskey - sounds amazing! I haven't tried colcannon but have been wanting to try it. Lovely meal - thanks for sharing

  4. Mmmm...you can push Fall all you want!! I am dreaming of the cool, crisp days (lasting)...and meals like this one. It looks amazing.

  5. I've never made colcannon. In fact I'm not sure I had even heard of it until now. Odd with an Irish Mom who grew up on a dairy farm. Seems like this would have been right up her alley. Anyway, it sounds good so I will have to give it a try. Sadly with a bit less butter and cream. I'm sure it won't be quite so delicious as your recipe, but I'll feel better about myself :-)

    1. Ha, Kay! You always were better at self-control than I! For this dish, I must have all that creamy buttery goodness!


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