Every so often I send my husband to the farmers market on his own, and I never know what surprises he is going to bring home. A couple months ago it was a 5-lb ham. Delicious no doubt, but not exactly something to cook up on a Tuesday night for the three of us. So it's been sitting in the freezer ever since. Yesterday I decided it was time to use it and we invited some friends over to help with the eating. I made a tangy-sweet glaze to go with it from some of the season's last apple cider.
1 5-6 lb bone-in cured ham
2 cups apple cider
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 cup brown sugar
1-2 tsp ground cayenne (optional)
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Place the ham flat side down in a roasting pan. Make criss-cross cuts about 1/2-inch deep across the top and sides. Place the ham in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
While you start cooking the ham, put the glaze together (all remaining ingredients) in a wide bottomed pan such as a braising pan or Dutch oven (this is important; it will not reduce fast enough with a regular saucepan). Whisk them together, bring to a boil, then simmer until much reduced. Turn off the heat and let it sit; it will thicken somewhat.
After the ham has cooked for the first 30 minutes, pull it out and baste it with some of the glaze. Return to the oven for 20 minutes, then add more glaze. Cook the ham for another 20 minutes, then insert a thermometer into the middle of the meat. The ham is done when it reaches 135-140 degrees. Try not to overcook as it will start to dry out. If it needs more time, glaze again and return to the oven until done. (For a larger ham it may take 2 hours or so total.)
When the ham is done, let it rest for 10 minutes or so, then slice and serve. Pass remaining glaze at the table as a sauce.