Elevate Your Easter Dinner with Smoky Maple Bourbon Ham
What do you serve for Easter dinner? Does family have a tradition when it comes to Easter dinner? Mine does. I have been eating ham for Easter for as long as I can remember. It would be the only time I eat ham if it wasn’t for the work I do in the Barbecuebible test kitchen. Not only do I enjoy it, but I love coming up with ways to use the leftover ham.
Not only do we all look forward to the ham, but even the sides have become a tradition. I always bring my Tupperware for leftovers. If the ham came with a bone, my father would use the bone and the leftover ham to make pea soup. It was delicious. I like to incorporate the leftover ham into a grilled cheese sandwich, a fritatta, or a breakfast hash.
The Holy Grail Steak company sent me a one of their Kurobuta boneless smoked hams. Kurobuta pork comes from the Berkshire “black” pig. Kurobuta comes from the Japanese word for black pig. It is often referred to as the Wagyu of pork. Kurobuta pork is known for its marbling. The marbling produces a succulent pork that is juicy, tender, and sweetly flavorful.
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Smoky Maple Bourbon Ham
Here is how I prepared the Kurobuta boneless ham from Holy Grail Steak: I set-up my Big Green Egg XL (BGE) for indirect grilling. I heated the grill to 325 degrees. I started by scoring the outside of the ham. Scoring the outside of the ham increases the surface area and helps the rub and the glaze adhere to the ham while it cooks.
I wanted a flavor theme for the ham. Since maple syrup pairs well with ham, I decided to use my maple sugar spice rub and make a maple bourbon glaze for the ham. After scoring the ham, I applied my maple sugar rub. The rub consists of maple sugar, kosher salt, dried honey granules, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, ground fennel, Worcestershire powder, and smoked paprika.
Pre-cooked hams are often steamed in the oven in a roasting pan covered with foil and then glazed at the end. To created moisture in the BGE, I filled a foil drip pan with beer and placed it under the ham while it heated up in the BGE. I placed two maple chucks in the BGE to create wood smoke.
Next, I prepared a maple bourbon glaze for the ham by combining maple syrup, bourbon, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, apple cider vinegar, the maple rub, and some of my homemade cranberry barbecue sauce. The glaze boiled for 5 minutes, then I lowered the heat to get the mixture to reduce and thicken.
The ham started to brown after thirty minutes. Once it started to brown, I began to glaze the ham. I continued to glaze the ham every 20 minutes until it reached an internal temperature of 140 degrees. I let the ham rest, then sliced it and topped the ham with more of the warm glaze.
The ham was smoky, juicy, and salty as you would expect from a ham. The ham had a rich full mouth feel like a steak and was as tender as a filet mignon. The crust the glaze created reminded me of burnt ends with the crispy and sweet exterior and the tender ham underneath. The maple spice rub added to the texture and flavor to the crispy exterior of the ham. The apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, and the cranberry barbecue sauce balanced the glaze and prevented it from being too sweet.
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