Bourbon Glazed Ham

Definitely a family favorite in our house.  Saw this recipe on Good Eats with Alton Brown years ago.  This is one the kids can get involved with when it comes time to spread on the mustard, brown sugar and crushed ginger snaps.

We paired this up with Chorizo Corn Bread Stuffing and had a hit on our hands this year!  Make sure to line your pan with foil as the sugar has a tendency to burn and cleanup can be a chore.

Bourbon Glazed Ham

1 city style (brined) ham, hock end
1/4 cup brown mustard
2 cups dark brown sugar
1-ounce bourbon (poured into a spritz bottle)
2 cups crushed ginger snap cookies

Heat oven to 250 degrees F.

Remove ham from bag, rinse and drain thoroughly. Place ham, cut side down, in a roasting pan. Using a small paring knife or clean utility knife set to the smallest blade setting, score the ham from bottom to top, spiraling clockwise as you cut. (If you’re using a paring knife, be careful to only cut through the skin and first few layers of fat). Rotate the ham after each cut so that the scores are no more than 2-inches across. Once you’ve made it all the way around, move the knife to the other hand and repeat, spiraling counter clockwise. The aim is to create a diamond pattern all over the ham. (Don’t worry too much about precision here.)

Tent the ham with heavy duty foil, insert a thermometer, and cook for 3 to 4 hours or until the internal temperature at the deepest part of the meat registers 130 degrees F.

Remove and use tongs to pull away the diamonds of skin and any sheets of fat that come off with them.

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Dab dry with paper towels, then brush on a liberal coat of mustard, using either a basting brush or a clean paint brush (clean as in never-touched paint). Sprinkle on brown sugar, packing loosely as you go until the ham is coated. Spritz this layer lightly with bourbon, then loosely pack on as much of the crushed cookies as you can.

Insert the thermometer (don’t use the old hole) and return to the oven (uncovered). Cook until interior temperature reaches 140 degrees F, approximately 1 hour.

Let the roast rest for 1/2 hour before carving.

Chorizo Corn Bread Stuffing

I found this in the 2008 Thanksgiving issue of Food and Wine and decided to try it out this year.  It was a huge hit!  You can use a store-bought corn bread to simplify the recipe (you’ll need three pounds), but opt for one that’s not too sweet (i.e. not Jiffy).

We made our cornbread from scratch following the recipie below and were pleasantly surprised with it’s texture and flavor.  One word of advise though, make sure you toast the cornbread cubes in the oven or they will fall apart when you go to mix all of the ingredients.

CORN BREAD
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
4 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 cups whole milk
3 eggs, lightly beaten
4 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

STUFFING
1/2 pound Spanish chorizo, cut into 1/4-inch dice
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 onions, cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 celery ribs, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 carrot, cut into 1/4-inch dice
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon chopped thyme
1 tablespoon chopped sage
2 teaspoons chopped rosemary
2 cups chicken stock
2 large eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Directions
1. Make the Corn Bread: Preheat the oven to 425°. Warm a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over moderate heat. Add the vegetable oil and heat.

2. Meanwhile, in a bowl, sift the flour with the sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir in the cornmeal. Add the milk and eggs and stir lightly. Add the melted butter and stir just until blended.

3. Scrape the batter into the hot skillet; the oil should sizzle. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake the corn bread for about 25 minutes, or until the center springs back when gently pressed. Turn the corn bread out onto a rack to cool. (This will yield 3 pounds of corn bread.)

4. Meanwhile, Prepare the Stuffing: Reduce the oven temperature to 375°. In a large saucepan, cook the chorizo over moderate heat until the edges are crisp, about 6 minutes. Add the butter and let it melt. Add the onions, celery and carrot and cook until the onions are translucent, about 12 minutes. Add the garlic, thyme, sage and rosemary and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer the chorizo mixture to a large bowl.

5. Cut the corn bread into 1-inch pieces. Spread it on a rimmed baking dish and toast for about 20 minutes, stirring once, until golden in spots. Add the corn bread to the chorizo. Add the chicken stock, eggs, salt and pepper and toss gently until evenly coated. Transfer the stuffing to a 10-by-14-inch baking dish. Bake in the top third of the oven for about 40 minutes, until golden on top. Serve warm.

Make Ahead
The baked stuffing can be refrigerated overnight. Bring to room temperature before reheating.

Could You Say Goodbye to Your BlackBerry?

The New York Times is reporting that President elect Obama is most likely going to have to “Say Goodbye” to his BlackBerry due to e-mail security concerns and the Presidential Records Act…

Could you give up your Blackberry?  I know there are some days I sure could!!

Daylight Saving Time Increases Energy Use in Indiana?

The New York Times Freakonomics (opinion) section has an article saying Southern Indiana actually used 1% more electricity after DST was implemented.  I for one actually enjoy the extra hour of daylight in the summer & was happy Indiana finally passed the bill that was debated for the past 10 years.

Pot Roast

Since I’ve been smelling this for the last 2 hours I decided to put my recipe for Pot Roast on the Blog.  Don’t skip putting the garlic into the roast as it adds the flavor to this dish that sets it apart from other roasts.

Pot Roast

1 (4 pound) Chuck Pot Roast (tied)
5 cloves of fresh garlic
Drizzle of olive oil
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 cups beef stock
1 pound small potatoes, quartered
2 medium onions, chopped rough
1 pound carrots chopped rough
1/2 pound button mushrooms (opt)
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup water

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Make slits throughout the roast. Stuff a piece of garlic in each slit. Rub the entire roast with the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Heat a large skillet, over medium heat

When the pan is hot, sear the roast on all sides, about 3 to 4 minutes.

Remove from the pan and place the roast in a Dutch oven with a cover. Add the stock and cover.  Place in the oven and cook for 4 hours.

In a mixing bowl, toss the vegetables with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Place the vegetables around the roast and cover.

Cook for additional hour.

Remove the roast from the oven and arrange on a serving platter, reserving the liquid.

Whisk the flour and water together. Pour the reserved liquid and grime into a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Whisk the flour mixture into the reserved liquid. Bring the liquid back to a simmer and cook for 4 to 6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with the pot roast.

30 Skippers Start Non-Stop Around the World Solo Race

The BBC NEWS is reporting the start of a 27,000 mile round the world solo yacht race that left France today.  They also have some interesting info regarding the technology used to complete this incredible journey including a look at a futuristic communications console that the skippers use to navigate around the world.