I'm into ham for two reasons: First, it always feeds any amount of people and second, for the leftovers! Also, it's already cooked, seasoned and smoked, so no matter what you do, it's gonna be great. The maple syrup adds a familiar sweetness to the ham while the pepper and chile flakes add an unexpected bite and depth of flavor.
Technique tip: Score the ham deep enough so that the outside can properly get all crispy and caramelized with the glaze.
Swap option: Use honey instead of maple syrup and/or add herbs like rosemary.
- One 8-pound bone-in ham (not spiral cut)
- 1 cup maple syrup, plus more for serving
- 1/4 cup coarsely ground black pepper, plus more for serving
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- Potato slider rolls
- Dijon mustard, whole grain mustard, yellow mustard
- Quick pickled cucumbers and fennel (thinly sliced cucumbers and fennel tossed with vinegar and salt)
- Mayonnaise or aioli
For the ham:
1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Using a sharp knife, make diagonal incisions in the ham about 1-inch deep and 1/2-inch apart. Place ham on a rimmed baking sheet.
2. Mix the maple syrup, 1/4 cup black pepper, butter, 2 tablespoons crushed red pepper flakes and kosher salt in a small pot.
3. Brush some of the maple syrup mixture all over the ham, making sure it gets into the incisions.
4. Place ham into the oven and add about ½ cup or so water to the baking sheet (this will prevent the maple syrup from burning on the sheet pan). Cook, basting with more maple syrup mixture every 45 minutes or so, until the ham is deeply golden brown and caramelized on the outside, 3-3 ½ hours.
Remove ham from oven, slice and serve with the fixings.