Best Honey Mustard Ham for Your Easter Feast
With Easter just around the corner, ham consumption in Canada will soon peak. Ham, after all, is the traditional food of Easter in Canada and a lot of countries around the world and has been for centuries. It is said that Canada produces 5 slices of bacon for every person on the planet! According to the Canadian Meat Council, in 2013 Canada exported $3.19 billion of pork to 99 countries. Canada also exported $1.3 billion of beef and veal to 71 countries.
Today, the Canadian industry employs 67,500 people directly and is worth $21.3 billion annually to the national economy. Canadian barns generate some 30 million market pigs a year, making Canada the world’s 10th-largest producer (China is first at 650 million a year). As the world’s third-largest pork exporter (1.15 billion kilos), Canada annually ships the equivalent of one thick pork chop or five slices of bacon for every human being on the planet.
In Spain, a meal wouldn’t be a meal without at least a few slivers of ham. The country produces 40 million of them every year, making it also one of the largest producers–and consumers–of ham in the world. Every café, bar or restaurant, even the most humble, has its own hams, usually hanging from the ceiling. There’s even a chain of ham restaurants called the Museum of Ham.
This easy ham recipe (see below), which feeds a crowd, is the perfect introduction. (A grilled, unadorned ham also works well with steak lovers).
We start here and now because ham has ancient connections to Easter, Passover and springtime in general. In preindustrial agriculture, most pigs were born in the spring, and the male ones — of whom few are needed on farms — were quickly butchered for spring feasts. Now is also the moment because ham’s earthiness is ideally paired with sharp spring vegetables, like asparagus, dandelion greens and artichokes, and because ham makes a welcome change from winter’s turkeys and roast beef at the new season’s holiday dinners.
This recipe, adapted from the Caribbean Shopping Channel, brings lushness to your feast with two ingredients Canadians traditionally love: maple syrup and mustard. A thick coat of maple syrup & mustard goes on the meat right before cooking.
10 -12 lbs bone in ham
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup maple syrup
1. Lightly score the ham, criss-cross, and place in a roasting pan.
2. Mix the brown sugar, rum, mustard and syrup. Spoon sauce over the ham and bake on 425. Serve when finished.
Today’s recommendation is to cook most pork to an internal temperature of 155 °F (68 °C) — use a meat thermometer — and then let it rest under a foil tent until it reaches 160 °F (71 °C).
Ground pork needs to be cooked to 160 °F (71 °C); pork tenderloin does best cooked at 400 °F (200 °C) to an internal temperature of 155 °F (68 °C), which takes about 25 minutes.
Happy Easter and Enjoy!