Hope Springs Eternal - Glazed Ham & Seasonal Carrots

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Serves: 8 - 10

Easter is right around the corner folks! Which is prompting many of us to look into new ways to make those quintessential dishes. Anticipating this task ahead, I created this sharp twist on the classic glazed ham & carrots duo. This dish incorporates seasonal ingredients – heirloom carrots, some of the classic elements - fresh pineapple, and new flavors – Tannenbaum’s Cranberry, Orange Peel & Allspice. Spring is a wonderful time to try new foods and maybe even start a tradition of your own. Bon appétit!

Easter Ham:

  • 1 pre-cooked, spiral ham (7-9 lbs)
  • 1 cup of fresh pineapple slices, halved
  • ½ - 1 cup of water
  • 2 whole star anise
  • ½ tsp dried cloves

The pre-cooked ham is going to be the appropriate place to begin, considering we need to get it in the oven before we can move on to our carrots. Preheat the oven to 325℉ and setup the roasting pan with a corresponding rack/grate. If your ham has the rind still on (top layer skin) carefully cut and separate so you can remove it in a few simple steps. Remove excess moisture from your ham by patting dry with a clean towel. The next step may seem odd but it most certainly serves a purpose: scoring the ham. This will allow our glaze, rendered fats & juices, and any other lovely aromas to sink into the epidermis of our beast. The best method uses a cross-sectional method of scoring latitudinal to longitudinal (cutting from top to bottom and side to side). The cut will be about a ½ inch deep or less and about 1 inch apart. It’s all about tenderizing the meat.

Place ham on the roasting pan rack and pour ½ - 1 cup (depending on the size of your pan) of water underneath. Toss a few dried cloves and star anise in the water below the ham, creating a flavored steam during our cooking process. Stock can also work great in lieu of the water but it adds more sodium, which is something we already have plenty of with the ham. Remember, the ham has already been cooked. We are simply infusing flavors and bringing the ham to a proper internal temperature of 140℉. Cover the ham with aluminum foil in a tent fashion across and above the pan, creating a space to conduct heat and trap flavors. Yum! Place your main attraction in the oven and begin the dance of cooking and glazing.

The Glaze:

  • 3 Tbsp Tannenbaum’s - Cranberry, Orange Peel & Allspice
  • ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup of honey
  • ½ cup dijon mustard
  • ½ cup whole-grain mustard
  • 3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp water

Take a medium saucepan out for heating up the glaze ingredients: Tannenbaum’s Cranberry, Orange Peel & Allspice, brown sugar, honey, mustards and apple cider vinegar. The heat should be no more than medium low since we want to evenly heat and blend our ingredients. Stirring constantly with a spatula or whisk and paying close attention to consistency and thickness. Since the glaze needs to be on the thicker side of sauces, you can introduce a thickening agent: 1 Tbsp of cornstarch & cool water (1:1). Once our thickening agent has been blended in, heat may be removed so the sauce doesn’t caramelize.

After about 30 minutes of cooking time for the ham, take out of the oven and, while using a basting brush, spread the glaze over the top and sides of the aromatic beast. This step will be repeated two more times (every 30 minutes) until cook time has reached a full hour and a half. During the last basting, remove foil and turn oven up to 375℉ and return the ham uncovered to the oven. This last step will create a crispy crust that is both stunning for the table and utterly delicious.

Using a meat thermometer, gauge internal temperature at the thickest location of the ham, reading no less than 135℉ (ideally 140℉ but ham will continue to cook after it is removed from the oven and is resting before carving). Allow your ham to rest on a carving board before slicing the spiral pieces.

Ready to carve in! Instead of cooking the ham with the pineapple halves on top, I like to serve them fresh as a garnish. Skipping canned for fresh pineapple makes a big difference and the fresh tart kick is a great compliment to this savory meal.

“I still believe in Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, and true love. Don’t even try to tell me different.” – Dolly Parton

Glazed Seasonal Carrots:

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Serves: 8-10

  • 2 lb. of your favorite carrot variety, similar in size ( in season for spring!)
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (can also substitute 2 Tbsp butter)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp Tannenbaum’s Strawberry, Mint & Basil
  • ⅓ cup light brown sugar
  • ⅛ tsp salt

Now that we are in the home stretch of baking the ham (last 15 minutes), it’s time to focus on our gorgeous heirloom carrots (or preferred variety with consistency in size). Clean your carrots thoroughly in the sink and peel carrots evenly. Remove most of the green tops of the carrots but leave a little at the base for the visual appeal.

Heat 1 Tbsp of oil in a skillet on medium heat. Using a paper towel, absorb excess moisture from carrots and gently place them into our evenly heated pan for a brief browning (roughly 5-7 mins). Next, stir in water, brown sugar, Tannenbaum’s signature sauce and salt. Cover carrots evenly in the mixture and bring to a simmer before covering with lid. Cook an additional 10 minutes or less, depending on the crisp to soft ratio you prefer. Ideally, you want a brown edge to our carrots with a slightly firm center and softer exterior.

Serve this beautiful side dish alongside your Easter ham or even just as a lovely pairing with your favorite entrees. Spring is the season for carrots so don’t limit this dish to just Easter. Be bold & fresh!

“A flower blossoms for its own joy” – Oscar Wilde

"How do I choose flavors? I really don’t know. I started off with apricot because I like apricots. Then it becomes a game to see what other fruits would work. My wife likes strawberries, so I did some strawberry. It just comes to me."