Carve a Ham for a Happy New Year’s Feast
Pork is served at many New Year’s celebrations because pigs are known to symbolize progress and a prosperous future. Pork is often served on New Year’s because the holiday is a time to look forward, and a hog cannot look backwards without turning completely around. Also, some believe that eating a bigger pig may translate into increased riches or a chunky wallet in the coming year.
Use your Kyocera ceramic knife set to carve a “boneless” (also known as boned) ham. This whole cured ham is a cut of pork that has had the hip, thigh, and shank bones, as well as most of the fat, removed before it is rolled, molded and packaged.
Boneless hams are easier to carve because there is no bone to carve around. While still flavorful, the ham’s texture can be affected by the processing methods used to remove the meat from the bones. There are also boneless hams produced from small chunks and reformed hams (oval shaped), which are meant to be sliced and used for sandwiches.
If you decide on a boneless ham for your New Year’s meal, count on at least 1/4 pound per person.
Baking Your Ham
The most traditional way to prepare a whole ham is to bake it. Although ham is perfectly delicious all by itself, you can make it extra-special by using a glaze. The most popular glaze recipes contain combinations of fruit juice, wine or whiskey, honey, mustard, brown sugar, fruit preserves, and spices. Brush some of the glaze over the surface of the ham before placing it in the oven.
- For a ham that has only been partially cooked, you will need to allow about 20 minutes per pound in a moderate (350 degrees F/175 degrees C) oven.
- A fully cooked ham will require about 10 minutes per pound in order to be heated all the way through.
To help keep your ham moist and juicy:
- If it’s going to be in the oven for more than an hour, you may want to place a foil “tent” over your ham in order to keep it from drying out.
- Continue to brush the ham with glaze and baste it with the pan juices every 20 minutes or so, until it is heated through.
- To finish the ham and give it a deliciously caramelized coating, remove the foil tent, brush it with glaze and pan juices one more time, then turn your oven to the broiler setting. Allow the outside of the ham to get nice and browned—this should only take about five minutes, but watch it closely so it doesn’t get too dark.
- When the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F (80 degrees C), the ham is ready for serving.
Enjoy and Happy New Year from Kyocera!