What Kind of Gravy Should I Use With Ham?

Many types of gravies complement ham to make it an extra special meal.
Many types of gravies complement ham to make it an extra special meal. (Image: Eising/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Baked ham is easy to make because it can cook on its own with little preparation. They are perfect for family meals and are part of the traditional Easter or Christmas dinners in some families. Although good to eat straight from the oven with no sauce of condiment, you can add some pizazz to your baked ham with a wide range of sweet or savory gravies.

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Traditional Gravy

A simple gravy to use with ham is easy to make and can suit any occasion. To make traditional ham gravy, once cooked, remove the ham from its roasting pan and then pour hot water into the pan. Pour this liquid into a small saucepan. Add 2 tbsp. of cornstarch with 1/2 cup of cold water and mix until smooth while heating up the gravy. Stir the gravy stirring constantly until it boils. After it has boiled for two to three minutes, your gravy is ready. It does not needs any seasonings, but you can add your own if you prefer.

Red Eye Gravy

Red eye gravy also know as bird-eye gravy, poor man's gravy or muddy gravy is a traditional gravy very well known in the South of the United States. The legend says that this gravy got its name from a cook who worked for General Andrew Jackson, the seventh President of the United States. General Jackson asked his cook to make him gravy to accompany some country ham. At the time the cook was drunk and had red eyes because of the moonshine he had been drinking. The rumors got around on the camp, and from then on, the ham gravy became known as red eye gravy. Ingredients for red eye gravy include pan juices from a ham, strong black coffee, black pepper and Worcestershire sauce. Once all combined, the mixture should be boiled for two to three minutes until it is reduced in half.

Mustard Gravy

Mustard is a great complement to any ham-based meal. This mustard gravy is perfect for cooked ham and the leftover sauce can be used for sandwiches. To make mustard gravy, you will need to mix together in a saucepan, 1 tbsp. of flour, 2 tbsp. of dry mustard and 3/4 cup of brown sugar. Then, add in two whisked eye yolks. In a separate bowl, mix together 1/4 cup of water with 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar. While the mixture in the saucepan is heating up at low temperature, slowly add in the vinegar water while constantly whisking. Stir until the gravy is thick enough to cover the back of a spoon. It is then ready to serve over your cooked ham, or in a ham sandwich.

Sweet Gravy

For those who prefer sweet gravy, you can make a fruity sauce to complement your ham. To do so, you will need to cook your ham along with pineapple slices, cloves, and cherries. Use toothpicks to hold them in place on the ham. In a separate container, combine 1 cup of brown sugar, pineapple orange juice, and the cherry juice out of the jar of cherries. Pour this liquid over the ham and add a little water to the bottom of the pan, and then the ham is ready to be cooked in the oven. When your ham is cooked, transfer the juices and drippings from the pan into a saucepan. Add in 1 tbsp. of flour while cooking over low heat. Using a whisk, stir constantly for about a minute.


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