So, when Jodi said that her step-dad was coming over for dinner on Christmas Eve, and that he'd bought us a ham to cook up, I started thinking about what I could do with it. She suggested something with the oranges we have. That triggered the idea: I could do the wassail on the ham!
Dutch Oven Wassail Ham
14" dutch oven
8-9 coals below
16-18 coals above
- 1 Orange, sliced
- 1/2 can orange juice concentrate
- 1/2 can apple juice concentrate
- 1/2 cup honey
- Orange zest
My original intent was to cook this ham low and slow. The ham itself was pre-cooked, so I would only need to bring it up to temperature with my flavorings, rather than actually cook the meat. I wanted to set up my ovens to cook at about 250 degrees (F), but I'm not sure that I actually pulled that off.
First of all, this was also a pre-sliced ham, so it was easy to put the cloves in the slots of the slices. If it hadn't been pre-sliced, I would have cut the traditional diamond angle slashes in the top and inserted the cloves into those cuts.
I put the ham into the dutch oven, for starters. I sliced up an orange into thin rings, and laid those on top of the ham. The ones that were on more slopey sides, I secured with a half-toothpick. With that little bit of preparation, I put the oven on the coals, listed above. If I could have found my small oven thermometer, I would have put that in the bottom of the dutch oven, to monitor the surrounding air temperature. I still think that in most conditions, those coal counts will be pretty accurate. It was cold out, so that threw off my estimates.
After about an hour, I made the glaze from the second set of ingredients. I put them all in an 8" dutch oven and put that on some coals so that it would reduce. It did some, but I would have liked it to get thicker. Still, I poured that over the ham.
From then on, I would check the internal temperature of the ham about ever half hour to 45 minutes or so, and, with a basting syringe, reapply the glaze. It took about 2-3 hours, total. I brought it up to 140 degrees, even though I'd heard that 120 is sufficient. It didn't turn out dry, so I was pleased.
Next: Part III of the Christmas Dinner: The Bread
EXTRA: I got contacted by a new dutch oven blogger! Her site is http://dutchovenmadness.blogspot.com/. She says she wants to cook in her dutch oven every day in 2010. I'm looking forward to her recipes and experiences.
Mark has discovered a love of Dutch Oven Cooking. Mark also has other sites and blogs, including MarkHansenMusic.com and his MoBoy blog.