Pork in any form is just plain delicious, and a fresh ham, which includes both white and dark meat, has some seriously robust meaty flavor. This section of the pig - the leg - has a lot of connective tissue that requires long cooking - about 20 minutes per pound to be exact - but as the fat and tissue melt with the heat you are left with tender and delicious meat.
Unlocking the true potential of a holiday ham lies in the glaze: a sweet, slightly acidic mixture that reduces and thickens to generously coat the pork and penetrate deep within its scores. (Are you excited for leftovers yet?) Also, if you use a bone-in ham you'll not only have better-flavored pork, you can also reuse the bone to reinforce soups and stock.
Ditch that "ham is boring" mindset immediately and go hog wild - revisit a classic holiday dish this season with these 12 recipes for holiday ham!
Perfect Holiday Ham
This is a great go-to recipe. It's deliciously coated in a sweet, citrusy glaze, and precisely baked so that it retains moist and tender flesh. Who wants seconds?
For the Perfect Holiday Ham recipe, click here.
Slow-Cooked Maple Ham
Free up oven space by using a slow cooker to make amazing sweet, savory, tender ham.
For the Slow-Cooked Maple Ham recipe, click here.
Baked Ham With Wheat Germ Crust
Wheat germ may sound like a, well, interesting ingredient, even causing some to balk and move on quickly. However, the protein-rich wheat germ crunch lends an earthy quality to this simple baked ham, which is accentuated by a zippy apple cider-Dijon mustard sauce.
For the Baked Ham With Wheat Germ Crust recipe, click here.
This recipe is excerpted from "Mrs. Beeton's Book of Household Management," an English cookbook published in 1861! It's endured over a century of critics, which means it must be good.
For the Boiled Ham recipe, click here.
Coca-Cola Glazed Ham
Coca-Cola (yes, the soda) is simmered with light brown sugar and thyme before it is brushed over a roasting ham; the sweetness balances out the meaty saltiness of the ham.
For the Coca-Cola Glazed Ham recipe, click here.
Double-Smoked Spiral Ham With Blackberry-Bourbon Glaze
We had you with "Blackberry-Bourbon Glaze," didn't we? Pecan wood lends a slightly sweet, smoky flavor to spiral ham, while the glaze brings in a seriously good kick of sweet and spicy.
For the Double-Smoked Spiral Ham With Blackberry Bourbon Glaze recipe, click here.
Garlic-Roasted Picnic Ham
This Italian-style recipe concocts a flavorful herbed salt rub made with fresh rosemary, sage, fennel seeds, and garlic. It is cooked until golden and sizzling then is sliced and eaten with a drizzle of olive oil and extra herbed salt.
For the Garlic-Roasted Picnic Ham recipe, click here.
Ham With Marmalade Bourbon Glaze
This crazy-simple four-ingredient glaze is too easy and flavorful to pass up. Grab a spiral-cut ham from your butcher and brush the sweet bourbon goodness over the pork while it roasts.
For the Ham With Marmalade Bourbon Glaze recipe, click here.
The maple syrup and the aroma of vanilla complement the natural saltiness of the cured ham.
For the Maple-Vanilla Ham recipe, click here.
Raspberry-Mustard Glazed Ham
Make the glaze for this recipe with pantry ingredients you already have; almost any jam you have on hand will make a great substitute if you don't have raspberry.
For the Raspberry-Mustard Glazed Ham recipe, click here.
Roasted Whole Ham With Orange Honey Glaze
Stud a scored fresh ham with whole cloves, then make an easy glaze comprising orange juice, brown sugar, and honey and brush it over the roasting pork.
For the Roasted Whole Ham With Orange Honey Glaze recipe, click here.
Slow-Cooker Harvest Ham Supper
We didn't think it was possible, but holiday ham just got easier: Layer your vegetables and a boneless ham in your trusty slow cooker for an easy Christmas dinner that practically prepares itself while your hands are busy wrapping presents and snacking on Christmas cookies that are better than Grandma's.
For the Slow Cooker Harvest Ham Supper recipe, click here.
More from The Daily Meal:
25 Easy and Delicious Recipes for Christmas Morning Breakfast
The 5 Most Popular Ways to Cook a Turkey
Every Recipe You'll Need to Get You Through the Holidays
21 Slow Cooker Recipes for Christmas
31 Simple Recipes Because the Holidays Are Difficult Enough