Coca-Cola has more acidity than vinegar and more sugar than fruit juice, making it an effective tenderizer for fresh hams and a lustrous glaze for cooked hams. Coca-Cola is essentially a gastrique, or a mixture of sugar and acid used to finish foods with a flourish of flavor. Cook fresh hams in a little Coca-Cola for moistness, flavor and tenderness, and finish them with Coca-Cola for a rich glaze with a complex, sweet-tart flavor.
Things You'll Need
- Dijon mustard
Heat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. If the ham has a fat cap, score through it in a 1/2-inch-wide crosshatch pattern. Place the ham in a roasting pan and cover it with aluminum foil. Wrap the pan, not the actual ham; you want as much steam around the ham as you can get while it heats.
Heat the ham until it reaches about 130 F, or about 10 minutes per pound. Mix Coca-Cola with equal parts Dijon mustard and sugar until it thickens slightly, or about 1 to 2 tablespoons each of mustard and sugar per cup of Coke.
Remove the foil and turn the oven to 425 F. Brush the glaze on the ham liberally. Cook the ham until the glaze bubbles; add another layer for a thicker glaze. Let the ham rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
Rinse fresh, uncured ham under cool running water and pat it dry. Score the ham through the fat cap in a 1/2-inch crosshatch pattern.
Season the ham liberally all over with kosher salt. Pack as much salt on the ham as you can; heavy, early salting is the only way for seasoning to take place inside the ham and not just on its surface.
Wrap the ham in plastic wrap and let it sit in a dish for 3 to 4 days. Rinse the salt from the ham and heat the oven to 500 F.
Roast the ham fat-side-up until it turns a dark golden brown; lower the heat to 325 F. Pour about 1/4 inch of equal parts Coca-Cola and water in the pan. Add whole spices and herbs to the soda.
Roast the ham until it reaches 140 F, about 12 to 15 minutes per pound. Rotate the pan 180 degrees every 30 to 45 minutes. To glaze, raise the oven temperature to 425 F and brush the ham with a mixture of equal parts Coca-Cola, Dijon mustard and sugar; cook until the glaze bubbles.
- Photo Credit flyingroosterphoto/iStock/Getty Images
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