If you purchased frozen ham, you will need to thaw it before you can move on to cooking it. However, it is best that you thaw the meat by keeping it in the refrigerator. If you leave it out in the kitchen, you run the risk of having it contaminated with bacteria.
In order to work with the ham you will need to place it on a flat counter so it doesn’t move about. If your vendor has already removed the skin, you can proceed to treat the outer fat layer. If not, you will have to take off the skin yourself using a knife.
Preheat your oven to 180 C or 325 F before moving on to treat the Ham. You will need a sharp knife to cut the fat layer into a diamond form. Start from the bottom of the ham and run your knife all the way up, tilted towards one side in a diagonal manner. Now start at the bottom again and place the knife an inch farther than the last cut and repeat it. Keep doing this until you have covered the whole pieces with parallel diagonal cuts.
Now you need to start cutting in the opposition direction (tilted the other way) and repeat them until you have a diamond pattern with all the cuts intersecting. Make sure you don’t cut deep into the meat however; only the fat layer needs to be scored. These cuts not only look attractive in the end, they also allow for the glaze to set in nicely later on.
There are several different recipes for Ham glaze but you can make any of these:
- Combine half cups of brown sugar and mustard and sprinkle the mixture over your ham.
- Mix equal volumes of pineapple juice, brown sugar and honey and apply the paste over your ham.
Now place the ham in the preheated oven to bake and let it cook for about an hour. The typical cooking time for Ham varies according to its weight, and is generally between 20 – 25 minutes per pound.
You need to keep checking the meat’s temperature using a meat thermometer and continue basting it with glaze till the temperature reaches 140 F. Now take the ham out of the oven and let it sit for 10 minutes before transferring it to a warm platter and serving.