Saturday, April 3, 2010

Brown Sugar and Mustard Glazed Bone-in Ham with Coca Cola Pan Sauce - Plus Bonus Glazes

A bone-in ham, glazed with mustard and brown sugar, and cooked in a Coca-cola syrup is a traditional southern holiday feature.

Brown Sugar and Mustard Glazed Bone-in Ham

A homemade baked ham is a southern holiday staple. My Mama used to make ham one of two ways. One was with this absolutely marvelous glaze produced by using simply one ingredient - classic Coca-Cola. Ham and Coca-Cola. How much more old fashioned and southern can you get than that? The other was baked in a plain brown paper bag, studded with pineapples and cloves.

I love the ham with the plain Coca Cola - it really makes a wonderful pan sauce that I think you'll really enjoy. Here, however, I combine that Coke with a brown sugar and mustard coating on the ham. There is something about the combination of the sweet Coke, the brown sugar, the tang of the mustard, and the saltiness of the ham that just makes for a perfect marriage. Oh my gosh is this good.

You can eliminate the mustard and brown sugar and just go with the Coke glaze if you prefer, and by the way, other cold drinks will do too - try a good root beer like Barq's or Dr Pepper for a change. Either way, be sure to dredge the ham slices back through those pan drippings and serve the rest on the table as a dipping sauce. Transfer the drippings into a skillet, bring to a boil, add a bit of butter to give it some richness, and cook it down a bit to reduce it and thicken. Put that in a pouring vessel and pass it at the table.

Now first, let's talk about ham a little bit.

What you do not want here is a picnic ham or any kind of pork shoulder ham. That's also delicious but it's a whole 'nother animal from what we are trying to achieve here, because it's basically raw pork so you'll end up with more of a pork loin or pork roast type of flavor instead of what you know as ham.

What you also do not want is what is commonly called a Smithfield {or other brand} country ham for this recipe. Also an excellent ham, but this one has only been dry cured and is not fully cooked, so you would need to cook it for a much longer period of time.

What you DO want to look for when you go to the store is a fully cooked, ready to eat half ham, preferably a shank end portion. Yes, you are gonna bake it, but a fully cooked ham does not require that you cook it long. You are really only warming it through and infusing it with a bit of flavor.

Do try to get a bone-in ham - it provides more flavor and plus you'll have a nice ham bone leftover for some red beans and rice, soup or butter beans. Be sure to check the bottom of the post for ideas on using up the leftover ham too - I'll try to update that list as I post new recipes. In the meantime I am certain you'll be delighted with this main course ham!

We interrupt this program briefly to bring you...
How to Bake a Ham in a Paper Bag

*Note: There is debate on the safety of paper bag cooking. Well, my Mama did it for years and we're all still around but for the purposes of full disclosure I must add what the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) says about the practice of using brown paper bags for cooking:
"Do not use brown paper bags from grocery or other stores for cooking. They are not sanitary, may cause a fire, and can emit toxic fumes. Intense heat may cause a bag to ignite, causing a fire in the oven. The ink, glue, and recycled materials in paper bags can emit toxic fumes when they are exposed to heat. Instead, use purchased oven cooking bags."

Experts agree that brown paper bags were never intended for use as cooking utensils. The glue, ink, chemicals and non-food colors may leach into the food. Other materials used in recycling grocery bags are unsanitary, and some bags may even contain tiny metal shavings.
So, there ya are straight from Uncle Sam himself. But...

If you happen to be a rebel, here's how to do it - disclaimer - if you choose to accept this assignment you are on your own and do so at your own risk.

Place the plain, un-scored ham in a plain (no ink, no ads, no writing etc.) brown paper bag, (no coca cola for this version ... sorry) fold the end up and place the bag into an over-sized roasting pan so that there is no part of the bag hanging off of the pan, or touching any part of the oven. Bake at 325 degrees F about 15 minutes per pound or until the center of the ham reaches 140 degrees F on an instant read thermometer. Tear away the bag, score the ham, mix up the brown sugar with the mustard and smear it all over. Add the cloves, pineapple and cherries if desired and bake uncovered from about 30 more minutes.

Again... the use of this version is at your own risk!

Now, back to our regularly scheduled program.

This has been my favorite way to do a ham from the first time I cooked one - with a brown sugar and mustard glaze, and a hot tub of Coca Cola.  I use a bone-in, shank portion, fully cooked, smoked ham {you know... the cheap ones!} because they are full of flavor, and I want that ham bone for later!

Whatever roasting pan you use, cover it with some aluminum foil, in case any of the cola leaks out to make the clean up job a little bit easier.  Then make another separate foil tub inside that for the ham itself.  You'll want enough excess foil to pull up around the ham and loosely cover it.  Combine the brown sugar and the mustard. 

You'll have a thick mixture that looks like this; set aside. Score the ham and poke in some whole cloves at the intersections if you like.

Place the ham with the cut side down, and fat side up into the foil tub.  Smear the brown sugar mustard all over the ham, add pineapple and cherries if using, and pour in the Coke.

Pull up the foil so that it loosely surrounds the ham and bake according to the package directions.  Remove the pan from the oven, carefully open up the foil, and baste the ham with the juices periodically during the baking time.

My ham was 8 pounds and went for about 2 and 1/2 hours at 350 degrees, until an instant read thermometer read a little over 140 degrees. When its done, let it rest about 15 minutes before cutting. Make your pan sauce while it's resting.

To carve, take a knife and go completely around the bone to loosen the meat away from the bone.

Locate the natural seams of the ham.

Cut into those seams to loosen the sections.

Remove those sections and slice each of them individually. Beautiful.

I like to dredge the slices back into the Coca Cola pan juices and let them sort of soak a bit before plating. You can also make a pan sauce with the drippings (recommended), or you can also turn them into gravy.

To make the pan gravy, plate the ham and drizzle on a few spoons of the juice or gravy. Tent loosely with foil to keep warm. Transfer the pan drippings to a skillet, bring to a boil, stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons of butter to add richness, and let reduce and thicken slightly. Place into a gravy boat or pourable vessel to pass at the table.
I served your ham with coke and strawberry pie recipes for Easter dinner. They were both a hit. ~Jeanne S.

Well, the ham was a hit! The sauce was so delicious, everyone loved it! I made it with the brown sugar and mustard included. Thank you so much! ~Becky

We made this ham for Easter supper -- WOW, it is great!!! Going to do this from now on, as it's definitely a KEEPER!!! Love this recipe, thanks for sharing it. ~Barbara

Thanks y'all! I love feedback from readers the most! It makes my heart sing. ~Mary

Recipe: Brown Sugar and Mustard Glazed Bone-in Ham

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Cook time: 2 hour 30 min | Yield: About 12+ servings

  • 1 (6 to 8 pound) fully cooked, shank-end half ham
  • 1 to 2 cups light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/2 cup yellow or Dijon mustard
  • Sliced pineapple, optional
  • Whole cloves, optional
  • Cherries, optional
  • 1/2 can of (regular) Coca-Cola Classic

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a roasting pan that is just large enough for the ham with aluminum foil to help with clean-up. Add another section of aluminum foil for wrapping loosely around the ham.

Score the ham into a crosshatch pattern and, if desired, stud the intersections of the crosshatches with whole cloves. Mix 1 cup of the brown sugar and mustard together to form a thick paste and smear it all over the ham. Use 2 cups if you like it sweeter. If you are going to use pineapple, you can substitute most or all of the mustard with the pineapple juice - also very delicious. Add pineapple slices if desired, and using a toothpick, decorate the center of the pineapples with a cherry.

Pour the cola carefully over and around the ham, pull the foil up loosely around the ham and bring it together, but in a manner that you can easily get into it because you are going to be basting. Bake at 350 degrees F for roughly about 18 minutes per pound, or until the center of the ham reaches slightly over 140 degrees F on an instant read thermometer, basting occasionally.  Check the instructions on your brand of ham for their recommendations as different companies do give variations on baking.

If desired, unwrap the ham and place it under the broiler to brown, with the door ajar, about 5 minutes, watching it carefully. Remove ham to cutting board and allow to cool. Mine was browned enough to suit me.

Plate the ham and pour the pan drippings all over the top, or to make a pan gravy, plate the ham and drizzle on a few spoons of the drippings. Tent loosely with foil to keep warm. Transfer the remaining pan drippings to a skillet, bring to a boil, stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons of butter to add richness, and let reduce and thicken slightly. Place into a gravy boat or pourable vessel to pass at the table.

Note: Can also substitute root beer, Dr Pepper, lemon lime soda or ginger ale.

Other wonderful ham glazes to try:

Brown Sugar and Orange Glaze: Prepare as directed, except reduce the mustard by half and substitute 2 tablespoons of orange juice and 1-1/2 teaspoons grated orange zest.

Brown Sugar and Ginger Glaze: Prepare as directed, except reduce the mustard by half and substitute 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger.

Brown Sugar and Maple Glaze: Prepare as directed, except reduce the mustard by half and substitute 3 tablespoons maple syrup and 1/4 teaspoon each ground allspice and cloves.

Brown Sugar and Cane Syrup Glaze: Prepare as directed, except reduce the mustard by half and substitute 1/4 cup pure cane syrup, like Steens, and 1/4 teaspoon each ground allspice and cloves.


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©Deep South Dish
Are you on Facebook? If you haven't already, come and join the party! We have a lot of fun & there's always room for one more at the table.
Some Things to Do with Leftover Ham:

Jambalaya with Chicken, Smoked Sausage and Shrimp
Southern Red Beans and Rice
Southern Style Creamy Butter Beans (Large Limas)
Cajun White Beans

Check These Recipes Out Too!

Sage Pork Roast with Apple Pan Sauce
The Easiest Pulled Pork Ever, No Kidding!
Roast Pork with Spicy Sweet Onion Pan Sauce

Posted by on April 3, 2010
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  1. Whenever I see ham and coca cola in the same sentence I know Easter is upon us. Mary, yours looks wonderful. I hope you enjoy the holiday as much as we enjoy your food. Have a marvelous weekend. Blessings...Mary

  2. Mary, I was thinking orange for Easter this year. Going to try marinating my Turkey in OJ before deep frying and now I'm gonna add your yummy orange glaze for the ham. Thanks for sharing it. Happy Easter!!

  3. I would like to try the coke idea but I'm not doing a ham this year so I will tuck it away for next year:)

  4. Mmmm, I've got a crockpot ham recipe that uses brown sugar, dried mustard, horseradish, and's our favorite! I never thought to try the cloves with this combination, though... I just assumed the clove-poked ham was always made with the pineapple (which I don't care for).

    I like that your recipe calls for so much brown sugar! My husband likes SWEET.

    Happy Easter!

  5. I am literally drooling on my laptop! That looks delicious!

  6. I've been trying to decide what i wanted to do with my ham tomorrow. This jus tmight be it!

  7. Hot tub of coca cola, I love it!

    This post makes me disappointed I didn't do a ham this weekend.

  8. My brother in Georgia makes Coke ham. It's wonderful.

    I've never baked a ham in a paper bag, but my mother and now I bake our turkeys that way. I don't stuff my turkey, just put a piece of celery and a chunk of onion in the cavity. Butter the bird, and slip into bag. Fold over the end and staple shut. Use a deep roasting pan with a rack. (Of Course I have to put the bag on the rack before I put the turkey in.) Put a little water in the bottom of the pan. Bake according to times for size of bird. Comes out brown, so moist and delicious.
    My mother cooked them this way for as long as I can remember, and I've done them for probably cooked them this way for thirty years. And no problems from the bag.

  9. You know Patricia, seems my mama did that at least once herself! At least it's seems I recall that LOL. Now I know she did the ham that way forever and we all lived!

  10. That looks fantastic, yum! One question though: Would it work just as well with Dr. Pepper? I'm from Texas :P

  11. Hi Rachel - Absolutely!! I'll be honest with you. I have only ever used regular coke all of my life. Now, that said, I am aware of some folks who say they have used Dr. Pepper with excellent results, so I say go for it! Let me know how you like it if you have time to come back.

  12. Dear Mary, I used a pre-baked ham (a Cook's spiral-sliced, 10 lb.) Thanksgiving. I made a glaze of Dijon mustard (1/2 cup), brown sugar (1 cup), 1 - 12 oz. Classic Coke). I basted it all during the baking time. It got raves!! It was the best ham I'd ever tasted and everyone else thought so, too!!!
    Thanks for all your great recipes on your blog...I just love all of your recipes!!
    Always, Sharon

  13. You're so welcome Sharon! Isn't that sauce just yummy? Thanks so much for stopping back by to comment - I do appreciate you and thanks so much for reading!

  14. This was soooo good!!! Everyone loved it! Very juicy and tender and the glaze/sauce was perfect!

  15. Val, thanks so much and thanks for taking the time to come back and comment!! Happy Holidays!!

  16. So I did a variant of this at Xmas, just thought I'd post the results now since we unthawed a pound of the leftovers.

    I did a Brown Sugar and Maple glaze instead of brown sugar and mustard, since I had homemade Maple Syrup on hand. We did the hams up with that, then sliced them up and put them into the Cola glaze..

    23 pounds of ham became 5 pounds of ham, it was a wild hit!

  17. Thanks so much Thomas - I really appreciate you taking the time to come back by and comment!

  18. Can Pepsi be used instead of Coke? Since my son is a law enforcement officer and was on duty yesterday, we are having a dinner tonight.

  19. Sure can Patricia! We are just more partial to Coke here :) but any cola type of soda will do - even Dr. Pepper! Enjoy!!

  20. Do you think honey mustard would work as well?

  21. Possibly. Keep in mind that we have a lot of brown sugar and then the sugar in the Coca Cola as well, so the honey will not only add flavor, but additional sweetness as well.

  22. Mary, I know it's not even close to Easter, but the ham was on sale, so I said why not!! I'll have macaroni and cheese, turnip greens and sweet potatoes. I don't have any cola, but I do have ginger ale, so I'll give that a go.

    I love your blog!! Thanks for all the great recipes.

  23. Hey Toni! Thanks so much. Ham makes a good Sunday supper anytime if you ask me, especially when it's on sale! That sure sounds like a mighty fine meal. When's supper??! ;) Same some scraps & the bone for some beans or southern peas, and don't forget ham & biscuits for breakfast!

  24. My Mother and Grandmother (Memphis) used the brown paper bag method for a fully cooked ham (oven 325 at 25 minutes to the pound). Just two additional steps 1)Turn off the oven after to correct time for the size and leave it in the oven until the following morning 2) Cut open the bag, move the ham to a platter, and never refrigerate. Covered, it usually lasts five days or so before mold begins to form on the skin and then we make split pea with ham soup (after slicing off a top layer of the outside surface). The flavor is superior to a refrigerated ham? I have been following this now for almost 40 years with no problems that I know about?

  25. Oh I know but you know you have to give those darned "disclaimers" to cover yourself these days! Thanks for the additional suggestions.

  26. In 10 years of marriage I have never cooked a ham. Well, I am giving it a go this weekend for Easter and your recipe looks simple yet full of flavor. Thank you for putting it out there for a novice like me to find. :)

  27. In 10 years of marraige I have never cooked a ham. Well, I am giving it a try this weekend for Easter. Your recipe looks simple and full of flavor. Thank you for taking the time to put your recipe out there for a novice like me to find.

    1. You're so welcome Rachel - I hope that it gets a thumb up!! Happy Easter.

  28. i like the brown sugar and mustard glaze add cloves pineapples and cherries wrap in foil cook it for christmas and easter this year i would like to cook in crockpot do i still wrap it in foil and how long to cook 11lb shank ham

    1. I haven't experimented with Mama's ham in the crockpot so I can't really give you any guidance on that 11 pound one! I'll post the variation if I do ever get around to it though.

  29. I made this for Thanksgiving & it was a hit! It was so good, my MIL couldn't even speak about it. Lol That's how I know it was good. My husband was raised partly in Tupelo. We visited earlier this year & I fell in love with the people & the food. Thank you for sharing these wonderful recipes with us.

    1. Oh, LOL... I'm glad that she and everybody else enjoyed it! Tupelo is a pretty area & they sure do have some good food up there!! Thanks so much for taking the time to stop back by and let me know you enjoyed the ham. It's been a long time favorite of mine too.

  30. How would I adjust the recipe if I have a semi boneless ham?

    1. Just go by the time recommendations on the package.

    2. Thanks for this recipe. As a foreign student attended college in Mississippi and my American adoptive mother used to cook for us every Sunday after church. I have missed her cooking and now that I am married and living in the Midwest I am trying to make the similar ditches she used to fix for the family. Thanks. Great glaze and flavor.

    3. Thanks for this recipe. As a foreign student attended college in Mississippi and my American adoptive mother used to cook for us every Sunday after church. I have missed her cooking and now that I am married and living in the Midwest I am trying to make the similar ditches she used to fix for the family. Thanks. Great glaze and flavor.

    4. You're welcome Morena! I actually just cooked a ham this way yesterday!

  31. I was given a butt portion ham. Will it taste okay?

    1. Is it already smoked or is it a raw, fresh ham?

    2. It's a Cooks brand ham and it says Hickory Smoked Ready to eat.

    3. You're good then! The butt is a little bit leaner and smaller usually than the shank I used here, and the carving will be a little bit more difficult, but this should flavor it nicely! You'll want to go with the recommended temp & time on the package though since it is a leaner cut.

    4. Thank you. I can't wait to try it.

  32. Is there any way to reduce the amount of salt in a ham. I love it, but for health reasons, I should not eat so much salt.

    1. I know what you mean! My husband picked up some deli ham one day not long ago that was SO salty I could not even eat it! Mama used to soak her hams overnight to sort of draw out the salt. You need to let it soak awhile, drain and add fresh water and do that several times over that 24 hour period. Also, most companies are offering lower sodium products - not sure about the availability in half hams and such, but might be worth perusing the ham case to look for labels that read lower sodium. Country hams will always be super salty which is why they recommend serving it only in the thinnest of slices. Hope that helps!

  33. Making this for Thanksgiving! Just got done ----Had to sneak a bite. lol Amazing as always!!!

  34. Dear Mary, this is my first glaze ham and I wonder if I can use yellow spice mustard,coke and light brown sugar.

  35. Just used your brown sugar/yellow mustard and coke recipe and I have to say that it made one of the best hams that I have ever tasted!!! So impressed! Thank you for sharing it with us :)

  36. I made this recipe over the weekend and it was the best ham we ever put in our mouths! The search for the perfect ham recipe is OVER! Loved it SO MUCH! Y'all, MAKE THIS HAM!

    1. Thank you Brandi - so glad y'all enjoyed it too!!

  37. Can I use a spiral sliced ham for this recipe? And will this recipe work in the crockpot? I'm so excited to cook my very first ham using this recipe.

    1. You certainly can! You have to be careful with the spiral sliced though, because they can quickly dry out and overcook, even with a crockpot. Use low, never high and watch your time. Remember they are already fully cooked - essentially you are just warming the ham through so somewhere between 4 to 6 hours on low should do it depending on the size. That's the other thing - you'll want to get one that will fit in your crockpot!

      The only difference is that you'll use the full 2 cups of brown sugar, mixing 1 cup with the mustard and pouring the other in the bottom of the crockpot and place your ham with the flat side down in the brown sugar. Hope that helps!


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