Friday, October 30, 2009

Cooking with my Oma: Ginger Ale Glazed Ham

I remember the first time I tried my Oma's Ginger Ale Glazed Ham. I must have been in about grade 5 or 6, and we were having one of our last Thanksgivings celebrated at our cottage (we sold the cottage soon after). I never liked Thanksgiving. I thought the food always looked really gross, so my sister and I would beg our parents to stop at a McDonalds or Wendy's on the way up North. Well this particular Thanksgiving I felt daring and wanted give the food a try. I made myself a little sampling of everything, just enough for a very small taste of each item, sat down with my plate, took a deep breath and tucked in. It was like I was experiencing an epiphany! So THIS is what all that Thanksgiving fuss is about! This food is incredible!! I couldn't believe that I had wasted so many years without this amazing meal!

The food item that was on the top of my list was my Oma's Ginger Ale Glazed Ham. The ham was good and fine, but that sweet ginger ale and onion sauce, wow! Now that made it! I think I had at least 4 large pieces of ham that year, each with huge heaping spoonfuls of the ginger ale and onion sauce. This is one of my all-time favourite recipes. It tastes out of this world, and is very simple to prepare. I promise you, you will love it! Thanks to my Oma for sharing her special recipe with me...and for having the guts to add 5 teaspoons of sugar!

half of a "fully cooked, ready to serve" honey & maple smoked boneless ham
1/4 cup ginger ale
5 heaping tsp sugar
3 tsp mustard
1 small onion, sliced

1. Place roasting dish (large enough to fit the ham) on the stove set to medium heat. Preheat oven to 325ยบ.

2. Coat bottom of dish with olive oil. When oil is hot, add the onions and cook, while stirring, until onions become soft and translucent. If onions are browning too quickly, turn down heat. Add the ginger ale, sugar, and mustard and continue to cook a few minutes longer until mixture thickens slightly.

3. Add ham to roasting dish and, using a knife, poke several holes throughout the top and sides of the ham.

4. Using a baster or spoon, pour the mixture from the bottom of the dish over the ham.

5. Place in oven and bake for about 20 minutes (just to reheat the ham through).

6. Remove the ham from roasting dish and cut into slices. The onions sauce should have darkened, and be very sticky and thick like a syrup. If the mixture is not at this stage yet, scoop out the onions, leaving the sauce in the dish, and transfer them to a small saucepan. Continue cooking the onions at medium heat until they become even softer, stickier, and darker. Once they have reached this stage, continue to add the sauce remaining in the dish, a little at a time, until mixture reaches desired consistency. It's really all in the colour and texture. You're looking for extremely soft and sticky onions and a deep golden colour.

7. Spoon the onion sauce into a serving dish. Eat the ham topped with onion sauce.

1 comment:

figtree said...

I am soooo excited to try this. It sounds like the recipe takes ham to a whole new level. Ill let you know how it turns out!Oma would be proud!