Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Ham Drunk- Cooking with Beer

Ham and beer is a great partnership. They are a great team that work together in perfect harmony. Sure, there are other ways to bake a ham, but why would you want to? Not only cooking a ham in beer makes it moist and tender, cooking a beer glaze into it further makes it all that much more tastier. Makes total sense, right?

Beer-baked Ham with Beer Glaze

Start by cutting cross sections into the ham and studding them with cloves. This step can be omitted if you don't prefer a clover taste.

Take your favorite 12 oz. beer and pour it over the ham. I chose a local beer, Leinenkugel's, the beer of North Woods.

Set the oven to 300 degrees and roast for about 3 hours. Baste the ham every 20-30 minutes with its own juices.

The kitchen started to smell of ham, beer, and clove just after ten minutes of cooking. I was starting to get hungry and impatient.

To prepare the glaze, mix together:
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons of flour
  • 2 tablespoons of cidar vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of dry mustard
  • beer, to make paste

Stir to make a paste. If too watery, add more flour. If too thick, add more beer.

Apply the glaze to the ham after 2-2.5 hours. Spread it all over and fill it into the crevasses. This part was a lot of fun but it sucked to have to wait another 45 minutes. I wanted to dive right in and eat.

After 3 hours plus 30 minutes cooking the glaze, take the ham out and let it rest under a tent of foil for 15 minutes.

Damn, that looks good.

Cooking the ham with beer was a smart thing to do. Tasty, yes. Too much food, yes. But I don't care! It is so intoxicatingly good. The ham was moist while the outer layer was crispy and tangy.

I'd rather drink beer but it proves it is worth more than just a means to get numb. It is an essential ingredient to basting most meats. Add it to your kitchen staples list.

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