Spring is synonymous with special events worthy of celebration. From Mother’s Day to graduations to communions and confirmations, spring provides a host of opportunities for families and friends to come together and show their love for one another.
The right food can make any party that much more spectacular. Lunch and brunch parties, whether they’re at home or in a restaurant, provide great opportunities to enjoy fun, budget-friendly food with loved ones. For those who will be celebrating at home or attending a potluck-style gathering, this “Brandied Baked Ham With Mustard Butter” courtesy of Denise Gee’s “Southern Appetizers” (Chronicle Books) can make for the perfect dish to serve or bring along. The decadent ham can be served as fashionable tea sandwiches, either in soft biscuits or rolls.
Brandied Baked Ham With Mustard Butter
(Serves 16 to 20; makes about 2 cups mustard butter)
For the ham:
11/2 cups packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup brandy
2 tablespoons grainy mustard
1 5-pound bone-in, half ham, fully cooked
11/2 teaspoons whole cloves
In a small saucepan, stir to combine the brown sugar, brandy and mustard. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat and, stirring constantly, cook until the glaze is thick and syrupy, about 3 minutes. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days or use immediately.
Preheat the oven to 325 F. Line a shallow roasting pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil and place a wire rack on top.
Score the fat on top of the ham by making diagonal cuts in a diamond pattern. Insert the cloves into the intersections of each diamond. Place the ham on the rack. Insert a meat thermometer, making sure it doesn’t touch the bone. Bake the ham for about 1 hour, or until the thermometer registers 125 F.
Remove the ham and brush on the brandy glaze. Return the ham to the oven and cook for 20 to 30 minutes more, or until the thermometer registers 135 F. Let it stand for 15 minutes. (The meat temperature will rise to 140 F).
For the mustard butter:
2 cups butter, softened
1/4 cup grated sweet onion
1/4 cup Dijon or Creole mustard
In a medium bowl, stir to combine the butter, sweet onion and mustard. Scrape it into a serving bowl.
Cut the ham into thin slices and build your sandwiches (or serve slices on their own on a platter). Offer with accompanied bowl of mustard butter.