Artisan charcutiers are geniuses at curing pork, but in terms of the glaze they include for your ham, you may be better off making your own. Try this quick, delicious recipe.
- ½ ham (6–8 pounds)
- 1 2-liter bottle of Coke, divided
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 1½ tablespoons dry mustard powder
- ¼ cup dark rum
- Juice of 1 lime
Preheat oven to 325˚F.
Place ham on rack in roasting pan. Pour 4 cups of cola into pan. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 2 hours.
Meanwhile, reduce 3 cups of cola over medium-high heat until syrupy (yields ½ cup). Stir in brown sugar, mustard powder, rum and lime juice.
Raise oven heat to 425˚F. Meanwhile, discard foil and make shallow cross-hatch cuts over surface of ham. Using a pastry brush, cover ham with cola glaze and bake uncovered for 30 minutes, or until the ham’s internal temperature is 140˚F. Brush on additional glaze every 10–15 minutes during cooking. Serve with the pan’s juices.
Ham is a tidal wave of salty, rich and smoky succulence so to balance it requires low tannins and loads of fresh fruit. For reds, try Beaujolais, Frappato or Russian River Pinot Noir. For whites, Grüner Veltliner, off-dry Riesling or even Sauternes can be unexpectedly refreshing. For sparklings, try rosé or Lambrusco.