Prep time: 35 mins ¦ Cook time: 1 hr 40 mins ¦ Makes: 15 servings
Nothing beats a baked leg of ham on the holiday table. This ham is adorned with whole cloves, pineapple rings, and cherries, basted with a sweet glaze made with pineapple juice, brown sugar, maple syrup, Chinese Five Spice (a blend of cinnamon, cloves, fennel, star anise, and Szechwan peppercorns), then baked until golden. It’s sweet, smoky and delicious!
1 (10 to 12 pound) whole leg ham, on the bone
1 (20 oz) can pineapple rings, drained, juice reserved
½ cup water
½ cup (firmly packed) brown sugar
⅓ cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
1 (5 oz) jar maraschino cherries
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Position an oven rack on the lowest position in the oven, and remove the other racks. Place a roasting rack into a roasting pan, and set aside.
- In a small saucepan, add the brown sugar, maple syrup, Chinese five spice and 1/2 cup of reserved pineapple juice. Cook over low heat, stirring, for 2-3 minutes until sugar dissolves. Bring to a gentle simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes until reduced slightly.
- Using a sharp knife, cut the skin around the base of the ham hock in a zigzag motion. Use a paring knife to carefully make a slit between the skin (rind) and the layer of fat that sits below it, loosening the skin. Slide your fingers under the skin and gently pull it away from the fat layer.
- Score the ham by running a knife diagonally across the fat on the surface of the ham in one-inch cuts. Turn the ham and cut diagonally across it in the opposite direction, creating a cross-hatch or diamond-shaped pattern over the surface of the ham.
- Place the ham, scored side up, on the rack in the roasting pan. Add the remaining pineapple juice and water to make a cup of liquid to the roasting pan.
- Brush half of the prepared ham glaze over the surface of the ham. Arrange the pineapple rings over the top of the ham, securing each slice with two whole cloves and two toothpicks. Place a cherry into the center of each pineapple ring, securing them with toothpicks. Wrap exposed shank in foil.
- Bake for 40 minutes. Turn pan 180 degrees. Baste ham with half of the remaining glaze. Bake for 40 minutes until golden.
- Remove ham from oven and glaze the ham with the remaining glaze. Allow the ham to rest for 20 minutes, then remove cloves and toothpicks before carving.