Saturday, April 7, 2007

"Cocktail Supper Cookbook" - Ham Baked In Ginger Ale (Ham Dinner-part 1)

Cocktail Supper Cookbook by Marion W. Flexner
Published by: Bramhall House, New York
© 1955

Recipe: Ham Baked in Ginger Ale

Well, I love cocktails and I love supper (although we called our nightly meal “dinner” in my house) so it stands to reason that I love this cookbook. Actually, it’s the Ham Baked in Ginger Ale recipe that I love.

I’ve made this dish over and over and over but usually for more than 2 people (this serves 12-20) so instead of making it again for Easter (tomorrow), I’m just going to post it for your reading enjoyment. I’ll make a different ham recipe tomorrow that will be easier on my refrigerator space and my budget (Can we talk about the price of ham these days?! I didn’t realize I’d need a small bank loan just to buy even a measly little ham).

I’ve seen tons of variations of ham recipes using a bubbly liquid other than ginger ale – champagne, 7UP, Doctor Pepper, Coke – so if you don’t like Ginger Ale, you could probably substitute something else. If I had it my way, I’d use Vernors Ginger Ale which is famous in my home state of Michigan but hard to find it here in Minnesota; I usually buy something generic and it does the trick. Vernors has quite the bite so I’m sure I’m missing out on a tangier ham than I otherwise get but it’s the price I have to pay for leaving home territory.

Ham Baked in Ginger Ale (12 to 20 servings)
12- to 16-pound tenderized ham
1 quart ginger ale or champagne
1 quart water
1 pint Grandma’s brand molasses
Whole cloves
Powdered cloves
2 or 3 tablespoons prepared mustard
1 cup dark brown sugar

Wipe ham with damp cloth, place in roaster (I use a Dutch oven). Pour over ginger ale or champagne, water and molasses. Cover and bake in a moderate oven, 350 degrees, 15 minutes per pound. If liquid evaporates, add more water. Turn ham every hour using spoons to avoid piercing it.

When tender, remove from pan, cut fat into diamonds (but not through to meat), stick with cloves, sprinkle powdered cloves over, and spread with mustard and brown sugar. Place ham in a cold broiler then turn on heat and cook until sugar melts and bubbles. Prepare a day ahead if desired, but do not glaze until near serving time.

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