I adore Easter ham, well not just Easter, any ham really. We have always had ham for Easter though as long as I can remember – it is essential, just like a turkey on Thanksgiving. A bonus is that ham is easy to prepare and is awesome as a leftover. If you need some inspiration for this year, here is a fabulous recipe from the National Pork Board.

Thyme Basted Ham with Roasted Grapes recipeThyme-Basted Ham with Roasted Grapes

Roasting grapes seems to be a big trend right now in food. This recipe includes this trend and fruit is always a good pairing with pork. My husband made some grilled pork chops last summer with a grape sauce that he loved so I think this might be a good recipe for me to try for Easter this year.

  • 6-8 lb bone-in fully-cooked ham, trimmed
  • Pepper
  • 1/2 cup grape jelly
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 4-6 pieces
  • 2 Tbsp thyme, chopped fresh
  • 3 cups grapes, red, green, or combination
  • 4 shallots, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4” slices

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Position rack in lower third of oven.

Place the ham flat side down in a large shallow roasting pan and score a diamond pattern about 1/8-inch deep into any fat. Season with pepper and bake for 1 1/2 hours.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the jelly, butter, and thyme, whisking occasionally until the jelly and butter melt together and the mixture comes to a gentle boil, 1 to 2 minutes. Cover and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine the grapes and shallots. Set aside.

Baste the ham with the jelly mixture. Continue baking, basting with the jelly mixture and/or pan juices about every 15 minutes. When the internal ham temperature reaches 120 degrees F, add the grapes and shallots to the roasting pan, stirring to coat with the pan juices. Continue baking and basting until internal temperature reaches 140 degrees F, 15 to 18 minutes per pound total cooking time. Remove the ham from the oven, transfer to a cutting board, and let rest 15 to 30 minutes. (If the grapes and shallots aren’t tender yet, return the roasting pan to the oven.)

Slice enough ham to serve and arrange on plates or a platter. Season the roasted grape, shallot, and pan juice mixture with pepper and spoon some on top of the ham. Serve the remaining grape mixture on the side. Serves 15-20 (4-ounce servings)

Leftover Ham Ideas

I always get more ham than what we will need because I know we will eat it eventually. If you have a lot leftover slice thinly and freeze in smaller portions for up to 2 months. This is great for sandwiches and we just thaw out a package as we need it. I also take some of the leftover ham and chop it into very small cubes and freeze in smaller portions. This can be used for omelets and soups.

Ham Sandwich Ideas

My favorite ham sandwich uses falling-apart-thin ham and Lorraine Swiss cheese on white bread – ok that is not the healthiest of sandwiches, but it’s good and every once in a while is ok. I also love to have a thicker slice of ham along with grilled (or not) pineapple rings on a sandwich roll. Another twist on the pineapple is to make a “salsa” of sorts with a base of chopped pineapple and finely chopped red onion. Place that on your sandwich with the ham and a nice melty cheese – yum!

The possibilities really are endless it seems with ham. If you need more inspiration be sure to visit The National Pork Board’s – Pork Be Inspired site for lots of recipes and serving ideas. Make sure to stop by their Facebook page also to enter the Ham-a-Day Giveaway thru April 6.

pork be inspired logo

The Giveaway: One lucky reader will win a free ham (awarded as a $30 coupon for a ham at your local grocery)

Required Entry: Tell me your favorite way to eat ham!
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Rules: Only one of each entry method listed per person/family/household. No entering on behalf of others, using extra identities or others identities, no automated program entries, etc. If I catch you cheating you will be banned from this and all of my future giveaways! This giveaway is only open to those in the USA, ages 18+. All entries must be received by 11:59 pm Central Time on Wednesday, April 11, 2012. I will pick a winner and email them and they have 48 hours to claim the prize. If no response, I will pick a new winner. Good luck!

All current giveaways can be found here
Disclosure: The National Pork Board provided me a ham as well as offering the prize for this giveaway. Opinions are my own (I really do love ham).