← Back to Search Results
baking American, Southern
Ham in Coca-Cola

Photo by: Joseph De Leo
Comments: 1
 

Recipe

This recipe is from my first book, How to Eat, with some rejigging (just because it’s not in my nature to leave completely alone), and I don’t apologize for reproducing, or rather recasting, it because I simply cannot urge you to try this strongly enough. The first time I made it, it was, to be frank, really just out of amused interest. I’d heard, and read, about this culinary tradition from the Deep South, but wasn’t expecting it, in all honesty, to be good. The truth is it’s magnificent, and makes converts of anyone who eats it. But, if you think about it, it’s not surprising it should work: the sweet, spiky drink just infuses it with the spirit of barbecue. I have to force myself to cook ham any other way now; though often I don’t bother with the glaze but just leave it for longer in the bubbling Coke instead.

And the salty, sweet liquor it leaves behind in the pot after it’s cooked makes an instant base for the most fabulous black bean soup.

But just one thing before we start: don’t even consider using Diet Coke; it’s full-sugar or nothing.

Yield: Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 4¼- to 4½-pound bone-in ham
  • 1 onion, peeled and cut in half
  • 2-liter bottle of Coca-Cola

For the glaze:

  • Handful of cloves
  • 1 heaping tablespoon molasses
  • 2 teaspoons English mustard powder
  • 2 tablespoons Demerara or granulated brown sugar

Directions

If you know that you’re dealing with a salty ham, put it in a pan covered with cold water, bring to the boil, then tip into a colander in the sink and start from here; otherwise, put the ham in a pan, skin-side down if it fits like that, add the onion, then pour over the Coke. Bring to the boil, reduce to a good simmer, put the lid on, though not tightly, and cook for just under 2½ hours. If your joint is larger or smaller, work out timing by reckoning on an hour for every 2 pounds, remembering that it’s going to get a quick blast in the oven later. But do take into account that if the ham’s been in the refrigerator right up to the moment you cook it, you will have to give it a good 15 minutes or so extra so that the interior is properly cooked.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 500°F.

When the ham’s had its time, take it out of the pan (but do not throw away the cooking liquid) and let cool a little for ease of handling. (Indeed, you can let it cool completely then finish off the cooking at some later stage if you want.) Then remove the skin, leaving a thin layer of fat. Score the fat with a sharp knife to make fairly large diamond shapes, and stud each diamond with a clove. Then carefully spread the molasses over the bark-budded skin, taking care not to dislodge the cloves. Gently pat the mustard and sugar onto the sticky fat. Cook in a foil-lined roasting pan for approximately 10 minutes or until the glaze is burnished and bubbly.

Should you want to do the braising stage in advance and then let the ham cool, clove and glaze it and give it 30–40 minutes, from room temperature, at 350°F, turning up the heat toward the end if you think it needs it.

This is seriously fabulous with anything.


© 2002 Nigella Lawson
 

Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

508kcal (25%)
5742mg (239%)
24g
1g
18g (28%)
0g
6g (30%)
8g
2g
149mg (50%)
21g
60g
65mg
1161mg
0mcg RAE (0%)
2mg (3%)
42mg (4%)
3mg (16%)
 

Would you like to leave a comment about this recipe?

Notify me of new comments on this recipe. Add comment

We'd love to hear what you think!

Please or to add a comment to this recipe.
  • GrandmaJacq

    04.17.11 Flag comment

    I would use diet Coke to reduce the calories Cloves for studding. My Glaze would be made from Cherry preserves; finely grated orange peel; some juice from the a fresh orange; allspice and black pepper;

 

Sign up for
The Cookstr Weekly

Free handpicked cookbook recipes delivered straight to your inbox

Explore Cookbooks on Cookstr

david-burkes-new-american-classics David Burke's New American ...
by David Burke, Judith Choate
rice Rice
by Bonnie Tandy Leblang, Joanne Lamb Hayes
the-vegetable-dishes-i-cant-live-without The Vegetable Dishes I Can'...
by Mollie Katzen, Greg Atkinson
the-new-basics-cookbook The New Basics Cookbook
by Sheila Lukins, Julee Rosso
david-rosengarten-entertains-fabulous-parties-for-food-lovers David Rosengarten Entertain...
by David Rosengarten
martin-yans-china Martin Yan's China
by Martin Yan
once-upon-a-tart-soups-salads-muffins-and-more-from-new-york-citys-favorite-bakeshop-and-cafe Once Upon a Tart: Soups, Sa...
by Frank Mentesana, Jerome Audureau
gluten-free-and-vegan-holidays Gluten-Free and Vegan Holidays
by Jennifer Katzinger
complete-book-of-indian-cooking-350-recipes-from-the-regions-of-india Complete Book of Indian Coo...
by Suneeta Vaswani
flavor Flavor
by Rocco DiSpirito
hot-sour-salty-sweet Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet
by Jeffrey Alford, Naomi Duguid
nancy-silvertons-sandwich-book Nancy Silverton's Sandwich ...
by Nancy Silverton
fruits-of-the-harvest-recipes-to-celebrate-kwanzaa-and-other-holidays Fruits of the Harvest: Reci...
by Eric V. Copage
bistro-cooking-at-home-more-than-150-classic-and-contemporary-dishes Bistro Cooking at Home: Mor...
by Gordon Hamersley
arthur-schwartzs-new-york-city-food Arthur Schwartz's New York ...
by Arthur Schwartz
lidias-italy Lidia's Italy
by Lidia Bastianich
Already a member? Click here to Log In
close

Sign up to Cookstr!

  • Receive a free, handpicked selection of recipes in your inbox weekly
  • Save, share and comment on your favorite recipes in My Cookstr
  • Get updates on new Cookstr features and tools







By signing up you accept the
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy
Spinner
New to Cookstr? Click here to Sign Up
close


Forgot your password? Click here
close
Thanks for commenting!
Would you like to share your comment on Facebook or Twitter?