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Pigtale Twist Buttery Caramel Sauce, Jack Daniel’s & Apple Cider Glazed Whole Ham

When my friend Janet told me her entire family clambers for her Easter Ham glazed with my Pigtale Twist Buttery Caramel Sauce I was shocked! As a Pastry Chef who detests sweets, I was not on board with this one! However… we tested it in our kitchens and offered it at several cooking shows this summer and sure enough, a HUGE hit! One large cured ham from your butcher or try a Cook’s Ham in your grocer’s meat case (I find Cook’s very consistent & loved by all) 1 Jar Pigtale Twist Buttery Caramel Sauce 1 cup Jack Daniel’s 1 cup farm fresh unfiltered apple cider (whenever available) 1 TBS Kosher Salt, 1 TBS freshly cracked black pepper (Tellicherry or Ecuadorian, very important) 1 jar fancy whole cloves 6-8 branches lemon leaves 2 bunches curly parsley 2 large, perfect oranges with flawless shape, skin & color 1 very sharp boning knife 1 turkey baster Place your ham, fat/skin side up, on a roasting rack in a deep roasting pan and heat the oven to 325. In a saucepan, combine Buttery Caramel Sauce, whiskey, apple cider , salt & pepper warming over low heat while stirring to combine (about 5 minutes, do not allow to boil). Remove from the heat and set to the side to cool & thicken (set-up). Using a perfectly sharp boning knife beginning at one end, (as close to the underside of the ham as space for the knife will allow) score in a fluid motion, from the bottom diagonally over the top, and back down to the opposite side (kitty corner). Repeat this scoring motion in 1” increments until the entire top side of the flesh is scored. Now, turn the ham 90 degrees and repeat the scoring as before. The finished pattern should resemble that of an Argyle sock or Harlequin patterned wallpaper. Pour your whole cloves into a shallow bowl and choose only the perfect ones with sturdy stems. Push one clove into the center of each scored square. Not only will the cloves give your ham incredible flavor, but they will perfume your entire home with that luscious scent of the holidays. Budweiser Clydesdales and softly falling snowflakes will all but appear out your windows! Pour half the glaze over every inch of the ham then place it in the preheated oven. Re-baste every 20 minutes until all the glaze is used, then begin using the baster filled with the juices from the bottom of the pan. The natural juices of the ham mixed with the glaze and the cloves are intoxicating. Continue basting in 20 minute intervals for 2 ½ hours until the scored skin of the ham is cracking and dark brown. Choose a beautiful, large, sturdy platter. Arrange the lemon leaves, (glossy side up) evenly around the perimeter. Using a sharp paring knife in one hand and an orange in the other cut a small zigzag pattern around the entire orange’s center (I count 28 zigs & zags resembling a scary pumpkins teeth, each about ¾ of an inch in height on a given large orange. The navel and the stem spot should be on the bottom and the top as you cut where the equator might be). Twist the cut orange and it will magically come apart in half displaying two perfect decorations to be placed around the base of the ham. Repeat with the second orange. The oranges can be done a day in advance and stored in a Ziploc in the fridge. The glaze may also be prepared ahead, up to one week actually (whisk to incorporate if necessary). Remove the ham from the oven and baste once more making certain the juices run in-between all the cracks & crevasses. Using a very large carving fork, a very strong spatula & hopefully, the brute force of a man, hoist the ham from the roasting pan onto the serving platter wiping any dribbles along the way. Place the orange halves strategically around the ham and nap the parsley in generous bunches (slightly smaller & lower than the orange halves) here and there. The idea is to have several heights of garnish about the bottom. If necessary, wedge the parsley to prevent the ham from wobbling as it’s carved. It’s truly tragic to have a runaway ham rolling across the Oriental rug and down the hall only to be retrieved by the dog! Serve with Gruyere Cheese popovers, scalloped potatoes (with a hint of Nutmeg & fennel) and Pancetta & white raisin sautéed Brussel sprouts along with a generous pouring of an aged Puligny~Montrachet possessing a wickedly buttery finish! Applause, applause all around!

COMING SOON... My grocery list & recipes for this fabulous dish. Till then, please contact me for additional info by sending me a message.