Now that Thanksgiving is in the rear view mirror, and Christmas is just around the corner, the big question is- What to serve for Christmas dinner? I'm all about planning our Thanksgiving menu for weeks ahead, and spending hours in the kitchen preparing Thanksgiving dinner. But Christmas is a little different for me. Years ago, I gave up spending Christmas in the kitchen. It's more of a stay in my jammies, eat breakfast casserole, and enjoy the family type of day. I usually serve either ham or beef on Christmas day. Both are relatively simple to place in a pan and roast, leaving precious time to make a couple of simple side dishes (which I usually prepare a day or two ahead). Those dishes can just be heated or pulled out of the fridge and served.
This year, I'm serving a Snake River Farms Kurobuta Ham. Snake River Farms is a family owned business that was founded in 1968. They are located in Boise, Idaho and are a business dedicated to producing the highest quality beef and pork in the USA. Snake River Farms are involved in every step of the beef life cycle including ranching, feeding, animal nutrition, processing meat, marketing and sales.
How much of a difference can there be in meat, you say? And particularly in ham? I've cooked everything from grocery brand hams, to ham from specialty stores and mail order businesses, to spiral sliced hams sold in national chains. The Kurobuta hams from Snake River Farms come from 100% purebred Berkshire hogs grown in a network of small family farms using a slow fed process. This is hands down the best ham I've ever eaten.
In my life.
It has the perfect blend of salt, sweet and smokey flavors. The Kurobuta ham is "...considered to be equivalent in status to Kobe beef." It's so tender, a butter knife is all you need at your place setting. I love it served with a bit of grilled fresh pineapple and some Pomegranate Pineapple Glaze. This dish takes about 10 minutes to prepare (the glaze). Place it in the oven and you're free to watch another round of It's a Wonderful Life!
Want one for your holiday table? I've got an exclusive offer on a free ham for you and your holiday guests from Snake River Farms, enter below. Trust me. You want this ham on your table!
If you don't happen to win the ham the awesome folks at Snake River Farms are also offering a coupon code for free shipping, just use the code BOUNTIFUL when checking out. Make sure to order early so your ham will have time to ship and thaw.
Baked Ham with Grilled Pineapple and Pomegranate Pineapple Glaze
A Bountiful Kitchen
** Snake River Farms Kurobuta hams are shipped frozen, make sure to allow enough time for shipping and for ham to properly thaw in refrigerator before roasting- about 4-5 days. All Snake River Farms hams are fully cooked, but SRF recommends cooking in 325 degree oven, 20 minutes per pound allowing internal temperature to reach 140 degrees.
1 - Bone in Kurobuta Ham, 12-15 lbs*
1 Fresh Pineapple
1 1/2 cups pomegranate juice (sold in refrigerated section of grocery)*
8 oz can crushed pineapple, not drained, or 8 oz fresh chopped pineapple
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup cold water
2 teaspoons cornstarch
Ham and oven prep:
About an hour before cooking, remove ham from refrigerator. Unwrap and place on roasting rack or place in roasting pan or pan that will hold the meat and catch the juices, fat side up.
Place rack on lower third of oven, remove any racks above that will interfere with cooking of ham.
In a small saucepan whisk together juice, crushed pineapple, brown sugar, soy sauce, mustard and Worcestershire sauce. Cook over medium high heat for about 5 minutes.
Whisk together 1/4 cup cold water and 2 teaspoons cornstarch in a measuring cup until smooth.
Slowly add the cornstarch mixture to the juice mixture in the pan, leaving the pan on heat. Reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook and whisk until slightly thickened. This will take about a minute. Cook for about 2 minutes and reduce heat again to low. When sauce is thickened a bit, turn heat off and leave on stove.
Place ham in oven for about 1 hour, uncovered.
After one hour, slide rack out of oven, and pour about 3/4 cup of glaze over ham, making sure to cover all surfaces facing upward. Use a brush if needed. Slide the ham back in the oven, continue to cook until internal temperature reaches 140 degrees.
Remove from oven. Place a little more glaze on the ham if desired. Serve the remaining glaze with the ham on the side.
For grilled pineapple:
Lay pineapple on side, cut off top and end. Slice the remaining pineapple into 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices.
Brush pineapple lightly with olive oil or canola oil. Grill over medium high heat on bbq grill until lightly golden, or broil on cookie sheet in oven for about 2-3 minutes or slightly softened.
-Allow several days for ham to thaw in refrigerator.
-Use a meat thermometer to gauge the internal temperature of ham. I like the oxo instant read thermometer, or a good old fashioned meat thermometer from the grocery store will work as well.
-If you purchase a 14 lb ham, you will need to allow 4-4 1/2 hours for warming in oven. Also allow about 10-15 minutes before carving ham after removing from oven.
- If you are not using an instant read thermometer, make sure your thermometer is facing the oven door, so you can peek at it occasionally and see the internal temp of the ham. You don't want to have to open the oven every time you take a peek at the meat!
-If your ham looks like it is drying out, cover loosely with foil and continue warming.
-If you like to serve lots of sauce with your ham, double the sauce recipe.
-*you may use a boneless ham as well, the cooking/warming time will need to be reduced most likely. Follow package instructions.
-**You may also substitute cherry or orange juice for the pomegranate juice.
Congratulations to R. Labrum, you have won a Snake River Farms Kurobuta Ham! Please email me at Fostersi at msn dot com to claim your prize.