Spring is here, and what better way to celebrate than with a delicious ham for your family gathering?
A Cades Cove ham is the perfect centerpiece for any brunch or dinner, but cooking it can be intimidating. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!
In this article, we’ll walk you through the steps to ensure your ham is juicy, flavorful, and unforgettable. From selecting the best ham to preparing and baking it, we’ll cover everything you need to know.
So grab your apron and let’s get cooking!
How To Cook A Cades Cove Ham?
Step 1: Selecting the Best Ham
The first step to cooking a delicious Cades Cove ham is selecting the right one. The weight of the ham should be determined by the number of people you will be serving. A 14-pound ham, for example, will serve around 20 people, depending on how much each individual is served.
It is important to get a fresh ham rather than a frozen one. Thawing a frozen ham can have a significant impact on its flavor and texture, so it’s critical that it’s done correctly. Additionally, purchasing a bone-in ham will ensure a great dish!
Step 2: Preparing the Ham
To prepare your Cades Cove ham, make diamond patterns on the surface of the ham with a knife. After that, press whole cloves into the middle of each diamond until it is completely covered. When the meat is thoroughly cooked, this not only adds flavor to it, but it also makes it seem more attractive and traditional.
If you want to add even more flavor to your ham, you can smear tamari soy sauce on the outside of the meat.
Step 3: Baking the Ham
Cooking the ham slowly is the most important advice for this phase. To guarantee a flavorful, juicy ham, keep this in mind during the baking process. Cover the meat with foil and set it in a small roasting pan cut-side down. Then bake the ham for 22-26 minutes per pound in a 325 degree oven, or until the internal temperature reaches 140-150 degrees.
Remember that the secret is to cook the ham slowly! In addition, contrary to common opinion, do not baste the ham with its own juices because the salty liquid can overshadow the overall flavor of the completed dish.
Step 4: Glazing the Ham
While your Cades Cove ham is baking in the oven, you can be mixing together the glaze. Mix together brown sugar, spicy mustard, apple cider vinegar, and cola. Bring the mixture to a boil and then simmer for about 20 minutes until it gets nice and darker in color.
After your ham is done baking, cover it with the glaze. Put it back into the oven uncovered and cook for another 20 to 25 minutes. After it is done cooking, cover it with the remaining glaze. Let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes outside of the oven before serving.
Step 5: Carving and Serving
Once your Cades Cove ham has rested for a few minutes, it’s time to carve and serve! Use a sharp knife to slice thin pieces against the grain. Serve with your favorite sides and enjoy!
Choosing The Perfect Cades Cove Ham
When it comes to selecting the perfect Cades Cove ham, there are a few things to keep in mind. As mentioned earlier, the weight of the ham should be determined by the number of people you will be serving. It’s also important to get a fresh ham rather than a frozen one, as the thawing process can affect the flavor and texture of the meat.
In addition, purchasing a bone-in ham is recommended for a more flavorful dish. The bone adds depth and richness to the meat, making it even more delicious.
When selecting your Cades Cove ham, look for one with a good layer of fat on top. This will help keep the meat moist and tender during the cooking process. The fat also adds flavor and richness to the dish.
Finally, consider your personal preferences when choosing your ham. Do you prefer a sweeter glaze or a more savory one? Do you want a spicier flavor or something milder? Take these factors into account when selecting your Cades Cove ham to ensure that it’s perfectly suited to your tastes.
Preparing The Ham For Cooking
Before you start cooking your Cades Cove ham, there are a few important steps you should take to ensure that it turns out perfectly. First, select the right ham based on the number of people you will be serving. It is recommended to get a fresh bone-in ham rather than a frozen one.
To prepare the ham for cooking, use a knife to make diamond patterns on the surface of the meat. Then, press whole cloves into the middle of each diamond until it is completely covered. This not only adds flavor to the meat but also makes it look more attractive and traditional. If desired, you can also smear tamari soy sauce on the outside of the meat for an extra boost of flavor.
When it comes to baking the ham, slow cooking is key. Cover the meat with foil and set it in a small roasting pan cut-side down. Then bake the ham for 22-26 minutes per pound in a 325 degree oven, or until the internal temperature reaches 140-150 degrees. Do not baste the ham with its own juices as this can overpower the overall flavor of the dish.
Finally, glaze your Cades Cove ham with a mixture of brown sugar, spicy mustard, apple cider vinegar, and cola. After baking, cover the ham with the glaze and cook for an additional 20 to 25 minutes uncovered. Let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes before carving and serving with your favorite sides. By following these steps, you can ensure that your Cades Cove ham will be a delicious and memorable part of your meal.
Seasoning And Flavoring Options
When it comes to seasoning and flavoring your Cades Cove ham, there are many options to choose from. One popular option is to use a mixture of salt, pepper, garlic, and herbs to rub onto the surface of the ham before baking.
Another option is to use tamari soy sauce to add a savory flavor to the ham. This soy sauce is made from fermented soybeans and has a rich umami taste that complements the ham’s natural flavor.
If you want to add a bit of sweetness to your ham, you can use a glaze made from brown sugar, honey, or maple syrup. This glaze can be applied during the last 20-25 minutes of cooking to create a caramelized coating on the outside of the ham.
For those who prefer a spicier flavor, you can use mustard or hot sauce in your glaze. Mixing spicy mustard with apple cider vinegar and cola creates a tangy and slightly sweet glaze that pairs well with the salty flavor of the ham.
Finally, for a unique twist on traditional ham, you can stuff the ham with your favorite meat or fruit filling. Chicken, tuna, or even jam or jelly can be used to add an extra layer of flavor to your Cades Cove ham.
Experiment with different seasoning and flavoring options until you find the perfect combination for your taste buds. With the right seasoning and cooking techniques, you can create a delicious and memorable Cades Cove ham that will impress your guests.
Baking The Ham To Perfection
Baking a Cades Cove ham to perfection requires patience and attention to detail. The key is to cook the ham slowly at a low temperature to ensure that it remains juicy and flavorful. Here are the steps to follow:
1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Place the ham on a rack in a small roasting pan, cut-side down.
3. Cover the ham with foil and bake for 22-26 minutes per pound, or until the internal temperature reaches 140-150 degrees Fahrenheit.
4. While the ham is baking, prepare the glaze by mixing together brown sugar, spicy mustard, apple cider vinegar, and cola. Bring the mixture to a boil and then simmer for about 20 minutes until it thickens and darkens in color.
5. Once the ham is done baking, remove it from the oven and uncover it.
6. Brush the ham with the glaze, making sure to cover it evenly.
7. Return the ham to the oven uncovered and bake for another 20-25 minutes, until the glaze has caramelized and formed a crispy crust.
8. Remove the ham from the oven and cover it with any remaining glaze.
9. Let the ham rest for 10-15 minutes before carving and serving.
By following these steps, you can ensure that your Cades Cove ham is perfectly cooked and bursting with flavor.
Serving And Enjoying Your Delicious Cades Cove Ham
Now that you have cooked your delicious Cades Cove ham, it’s time to serve and enjoy it with your family and friends!
Before carving, let the ham rest for about 10 to 15 minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute, making the meat more tender and flavorful.
When carving, use a sharp knife to slice thin pieces against the grain. This will ensure that each slice is tender and easy to chew.
Serve your ham with your favorite sides such as mashed potatoes, green beans, or roasted vegetables. You can also add some sweetness by serving it with a side of pineapple or apple sauce.
Don’t forget to enjoy the leftovers! Use them in sandwiches, omelets, or salads for a delicious meal the next day.