This ham recipe is as easy as it is delicious and combines classic old school elements with the down-home weirdness of “co-cola” as they say in Atlanta. Plus… it’s easy, and besides basting every half hour or so, practically cooks itself, low and slow.
Start with a ham. Today’s ham is a butt portion, but a shank will work just as good. If you happen to be lazy, you can get any old ham in a can and it will work just as well, although I contend that it takes more work opening the can and getting the ham out without shredding yourself and bleeding all over the place. I also don’t happen to enjoy serving a ham that’s shaped like a ham shaped tin can, although it does have that old school charm, just like Great Aunt Millie used to serve when I was ten. One small bonus… because the top is perfectly flat it prevents the pineapple slices from sliding off into the roasting pan.
One significant proviso is that the ham be already cured, not fresh. If you wish to use a fresh ham it will need to be brined prior to cooking. Also make sure that the ham is not one of those spiral-cut, pre-glazed jobs.
Preheat the oven to 325°f.
Now start with the ham on a rack in a deep roasting pan. Score the outer surface of the beast with a sharp knife in a 1″ diamond pattern. Press a whole clove, pointy end down into all of the places where the scored cuts intersect. Cover the top with canned pineapple slices in one layer, and secure those that look like they’ll slide off with toothpicks which you’ll remove (hopefully) before serving. Pour one half litre of Coke over entire ham. Place on a rack in the center of the oven and cook 15-20 minutes per pound until the center of the meatiest part of the ham reaches 148°f on a meat thermometer. Don’t forget to baste with the Coke which has now become a syrup, every half hour or so. Also, if the Coke in the bottom of the pan shows signs of burning or evaporating pour in another half litre. When the ham is done, remove the toothpicks, tent with tin foil and allow to rest for twenty minutes. Slice, serve, and enjoy. Mmmmmm, hammy, old school, home cooked, goodness. Let’s hope this new year bears absolutely no resemblance to last year whatsoever.
May the dogs be with you.