“This is the kind of food that you don’t even want to put on the table, but just stand by the cutting board and eat it right off the carving knife.” This was Dave’s awesome description of an amazing ham that we made for Easter dinner this year. We tossed it in the slow cooker on the way to an Easter egg hunt and came home later to the most delicious smelling aroma wafting through the house. That is now the smell I always want coming out of my kitchen for Easter dinner.
Easter for me is one of those holidays that must be celebrated with family and friends. The egg hunts are nice, but the main point for me is sharing a meal… no a feast… with friends and family. The best case scenario ends with a slight food coma from one too many trips back to the food line, but most importantly to be sharing this experience with people that you feel comfortable in front of when you all unbutton that top button of your pants and lie back with a replete groan.
We’re still working on establishing that sort of tradition for ourselves here on the island, but we’re getting there. We were able to be a part of a great egg hunt with a couple of other young families, and it was a blast to teach Little Man to rush around grabbing eggs. Our hostess made adorable yarn bunny tails for the kids, and Little Man’s ended up slightly grass stained from rolling around the lawn and down their little hill in the backyard. It was perfect!
And while Easter dinner was small in number, just the three of us, it was certainly not small in scale. Most of it we portioned out and froze to eat later on. Have I mentioned how much I love our standing freezer? LOVE!
Now, before I get into sharing the ham recipe with you, in the interest of full disclosure I must mention that neither one of the recipes I’m sharing here this week are particularly photogenic. In fact, the photos are poor since I’m still struggling with the fact that I managed to lose our wonderful camera and am trying to cobble together other devices until the loss can be replaced. So please don’t judge this ham recipe based on the pictures, this is something that you simply have to try. Just for the aroma that will fill your house alone, try this recipe out for the next family dinner or night when you want something special but also need the help of a slow cooker. For the flavor that it delivers, this ham recipe is deceptively easy. What it lacks in the photogenic department, it makes up for it on the plate trust me.
The ham recipe was graciously shared with me by a new friend on the island, Aureuil. Her adorable daughter is a friend of Little Man’s from swim lessons and from Strong Start. At a park play date a week or so ago, Aureuil mentioned this ham that she’d made in her slow cooker, and for days afterward I kept thinking about how I really wanted to make a ham dinner for Easter. The thing that sets this ham apart from others that I’ve tried is that it isn’t candy sweet. The main sweetener for the “glaze” is coconut sugar, not brown sugar or a can of pop. The coconut sugar gives it a definite sweetness, but it isn’t cloying and what you end up tasting is a gorgeously cooked ham, not a ton of sugar. Just writing about this ham now has inspired me to go grab a taste from the leftovers in the fridge as soon as I get this posted. That is my “test” for recipes that must become holiday traditions; if the thought of having them for left overs for days makes me want to make the dish even more.
1 bone in shoulder flank ham with a thick fat cap
1 cup (plus a little extra) pineapple juice
1 cup coconut sugar
½ cup maple syrup
- Remove all packaging and wrapping from the ham. With a sharp knife score the fat cap down almost to the meat in a crosshatch pattern.
- Put the ham meat side down in the slow cooker.
- In a small bowl combine the rest of the ingredients. Pour the glaze over the ham, rubbing it into the slashes. Add another good glug of pineapple juice to the base of the cooker and place the lid on. Seal with aluminum foil if the ham is a little too big for your cooker, like it was for our’s.
- Cook on high for 6-8 hours depending on the size of your ham. The ham is already precooked, so the issue here is not about cooking to doneness, but about getting all of that flavor into your ham.
- When the ham is done, remove it from the slow cooker, and remove any of the softened fat cap that still remains. Slice the ham thickly, and serve with roasted potatoes and a bright green salad. Enjoy!
Click here for a printable version of Aureuil’s Ham recipe.