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.

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

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

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.

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

Pot Roast

This dish is perfect for a cold Sunday afternoon and should yield enough leftovers for lunch or dinner the next day. It also makes the house smell wonderful.  Don’t skip putting the garlic into the roast as it adds the flavor to this dish that sets it apart from other roasts.  I’ve modified the recipe to replace button mushrooms with dried (much better flavor) and added tomato paste to give the sauce a little more richness.  

Pot Roast (updated January 2022)

1 (4 pounds) Chuck Pot Roast (tied)
5 cloves of fresh garlic (sliced in half)
Drizzle of oil (canola or avocado)
Freshly ground black pepper
4 cups beef stock
1 pound small red skin potatoes, halved
2 medium onions, chopped rough
1 pound carrots chopped rough (You can substitute/mix parsnips if you want)
Large handful of dried/mixed mushrooms
2 Tablespoon tomato paste
1/4 cup flour (opt)
1/2 cup water (opt)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Make 10 slits throughout the roast. Stuff a piece of garlic in each slit. Rub the entire roast with the oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Heat a large Dutch Oven, over medium heat

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

Add the stock, mushrooms and tomato paste and cover.  Place in the oven and cook for 4 hours.

Place the vegetables around the roast, season with salt and pepper 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 fat separator, then 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.

Moleskine: The Perfect Notebook?

I’ve been using a Moleskine notebook for several years.  I was introduced to them through the GTD program by David Allen.  What makes the Moleskine line of notebooks special is their solid construction & unique history

Currently there are 9 different types of notebooks so you’re sure to find one that’s right for you.  I’m partial to the Pocket Size with grid paper, although I’m thinking about changing to blank paper to help foster some creativity (think outside the lines).

I’m planning on picking up a City Notebook for Chicago before my next trip up there.  If it’s as functional as I hope I’ll be picking up city Notebooks for my planned trips to New York & Washington DC next spring.

I like to keep everything stored electronically but there are times when the laptop & PDA just won’t do…  One of my favorite brainstorming tricks is to hit up the local coffee shop with some new tunes on the iPod, my Moleskine & my favorite pen.  Tune out the world, consume some quality caffeine & capture all of the ideas that come pouring out.

Do you have a favorite tool that helps you get the job done?  Leave us a comment & tell us about it!