We had company for Easter. Really the first time we’ve had anyone over to our house since being married. It was my in-laws and a friend of my wife who was in our wedding. So, I baked a ham, for Easter lunch. I used the below recipe for the base of my own personal one, but made a few changes. First, I used a 4 lb ham that was very lean (virtually no exterior fat). I still scored it etc. as directed though. I cooked at 400F for 35 minutes and then 30 minutes at 450F. The ham I used was also lightly smoked. Serves 6 people depending on if you want any for sandwich left overs or how hungry the people are. I added in some dried currants to cook with the ham in the initial cooking period. The currant add delightful flavor, and by the end of the cooking periods they are plumped back up. We did not pour a Merlot with the meal (we had sparkling pear cider mixed with OJ), and I subbed Marsala wine for the listed Madeira. I cut everything in half on the ingredients except I used a full cup of wine, and 1/3 cup natural brown cane sugur. I also added a bit of orange juice to the final sauce with a dash of corn starch to thicken.

The results were nothing short of incredible. The ham was very moist, not too salty, and the flavor was delightful. I was afraid of it being too strong, but it worked well. The sauce was the deal sealer. The sauce was remarkable, everyone raved about it. The only bad part of the day was we had to leave church a bit early to get the ham in so it would be ready on time.

Note to self: When preaching/leading an Easter service, try to keep it somewhat close to a normal length. Adding an extra hour to the service may actually cause people to sin on Easter.


BAKED HAM WITH MUSTARD AND MARJORAM

Dijon mustard, brown sugar, marjoram, garlic and orange juice make a flavorful coating for this simple-to-prepare ham. The pan juices become a delicious sauce. Pour a Merlot with the meal.

1 1/2 cups whole-grain Dijon mustard
1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
3 tablespoons dried marjoram
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 9- to 10-pound fully cooked bone-in ham (shank or butt end)

2 1/2 cups Madeira
1 cup orange juice

2 tablespoons chopped fresh marjoram or 2 teaspoons dried

Preheat oven to 400°F. Mix first 6 ingredients in medium bowl. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate)

Line large roasting pan with double layer of foil. Trim any tough rind and fat from upper side of ham, leaving 1/4-inch-thick layer of fat. Using long sharp knife, score fat in 1-inch-wide diamond pattern. Place ham in prepared pan. Pour Madeira and 1 cup orange juice into bottom of pan. Bake ham until heated through, about 45 minutes.

Remove pan from oven. Increase oven temperature to 450°F. Spread mustard mixture generously over top and sides of ham. Return to oven and continue to bake until mustard coating is golden brown, about 35 minutes.

Transfer ham to platter. Skim fat from pan juices and discard. Pour pan juices into medium saucepan. Add marjoram and bring to boil. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Slice ham into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Serve with sauce.

Serves 8.

Epicurious.com

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