Bring ease and elegance to your Easter feast with a classic roast ham served up with a sweet twist. Thyme-Basted Ham with Roasted Grapes is a sophisticated centerpiece that pairs deliciously with inspired brunch ideas.
For time-strapped cooks, this refined recipe is a breeze to create - all that’s left to do after purchasing the ham is to prepare a quick grape jelly glaze and finish heating the ham in the oven.
Sumptuous sides celebrating the flavors of the season make it a meal. Ham and Peas with Mint and Tarragon, and savory Ham, Bacon, and Caramelized Onion Tart require less than 20 minutes of prep time in the kitchen, elevating taste and simplicity for an effortlessly elegant Easter brunch.
And for hassle-free leftovers, ham is hard to beat. In addition to sandwiches, toss diced ham into a breakfast scrambler, or sprinkle over a spring salad for a hearty after-Easter meal.
For recipes, tools to help you prepare the perfect ham and more easy leftover ideas, visit www.PorkBeinspired.com.
Thyme-Basted Ham with Roasted Grapes
Serves: 15 to 20 (4-ounce servings); preparation time: 20 minutes; cooking time: 2 to 2-1/2 hours
6 to 8 pound cooked bone-in ham, trimmed
1/2 cup grape jelly
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick), cut into 4 to 6 pieces
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
3 cups whole grapes, red, green, or a combination
4 shallots, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch slices
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Position rack in lower third of oven.
Place ham flat side down in large shallow roasting pan and score a diamond pattern about 1/8-inch deep into any fat. Season with pepper and bake for 1-1/2 hours.
Meanwhile, in small saucepan over medium heat, combine jelly, butter and thyme, whisking occasionally until jelly and butter melt together and mixture comes to a gentle boil, 1 to 2 minutes. Cover and set aside.
In medium bowl, combine the grapes and shallots. Set aside.
Baste ham with jelly mixture. Continue baking, basting the jelly mixture and/or pan juices about every 15 minutes. When ham temperature reaches 120 degrees, add grapes and shallots to roasting pan, stirring to coat with pan juices. Continue baking and basting until internal ham temperature reaches 140 degrees, 15 to 18 minutes per pound total cooking time. Remove ham from oven, transfer to cutting board, and let rest 15 to 30 minutes. (If grapes and shallots aren’t tender yet, return roasting pan to oven.)
Slice enough ham to serve and arrange on plates or a platter. Season roasted grape, shallot, and pan juice mixture with pepper and spoon some on top of ham. Serve remaining grape mixture on the side.
Serving Suggestions: Serve with roast potatoes, fresh peas or steamed asparagus. If you’re cooking for a smaller crowd, use ham steaks instead, basted with a smaller amount of the jelly mixture.
Ham and Peas with Mint and Tarragon
Serves: 4 to 6; preparation time: 10 minutes; cooking time: 5 to 10 minutes
4 ounces cooked ham, cut into 1/4-inch dice
3 cups peas, fresh or frozen
3 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick), cut into 4 to 6 pieces
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint, plus sprigs for garnish
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh tarragon, plus sprigs for garnish
Salt and pepper
Bring medium saucepan of well-salted water to a boil over high heat. Add peas and cook until tender, 3 to 8 minutes depending on size of peas.
Drain peas, reserving 2 tablespoons cooking water. Return peas and cooking water to saucepan. Add ham, butter, mint and tarragon, stirring until butter melts. Season with salt and pepper.
Transfer to a bowl, garnish with mint and tarragon sprigs, and serve.
Serving Suggestions: Adapt this recipe to your taste by experimenting with other light and delicate herbs - try cilantro, parsley, chives or a combination.
Ham, Bacon, and Caramelized Onion Tart
Serves: 6 to 8; preparation time: 20 minutes; cooking time: 1-3/4 hours
6 slices thick-cut bacon, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch strips
4 ounces cooked ham, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1, 9-inch deep-dish pie shell, homemade or store-bought, chilled
1-1/3 cups heavy whipping cream
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
In large skillet over medium-low heat, cook bacon, stirring occasionally, until crisped, 10 to 12 minutes. Use slotted spoon to transfer bacon to large bowl.
Add ham and heat, stirring occasionally, until browned, 3 or 4 minutes. Use slotted spoon to transfer to bowl with bacon.
Add onion, salt and pepper to skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 3 or 4 minutes. Reduce heat to very low and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is golden brown and very tender, 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer onion to bowl with bacon and ham and set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place pie shell on rimmed baking sheet and bake until pastry is pale gold along the rim, 20 to 25 minutes.
Add cream, eggs and nutmeg to bowl with bacon, ham and onion, whisking to combine.
Remove shell from oven (leave oven on). Pour cream mixture into shell and bake until top is golden and a knife inserted into center comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
Serving Suggestions: This versatile tart serves as a main dish, or can play a supporting role to a holiday ham. To dress up the presentation, make the tart in an 11-inch fluted tart pan.
Build a Better Sandwich
In America, the ham sandwich reigns supreme. For Easter leftovers, think beyond the classic ham and cheese with these inspired takes:
• Ham and Brie Baguettes: For a French-inspired lunch, cut open a baguette and fill it with sliced ham, sliced Brie, mixed greens, and a mixture of honey and Dijon mustard.
• Ham Reuben: Make your ham sandwich corner-deli style. Combine sliced ham, Swiss cheese, and sauerkraut on rye bread - grill the sandwich if you like.
• Ham, Cheddar and Chutney Quesadillas: For a ham "melt" with familiar flavors, fill a quesadilla with sliced ham, shredded cheddar, and store-bought chutney, and heat through until cheddar is melted.
Source: National Pork Board