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Balsamic Dijon Glazed Ham

This is beyond any doubt the BEST ham I have ever tasted – and the secret is all in the 3 ingredient ham glaze. (The ham recipe I’m sharing today is so completely worthy of hyperbole; I’ve given up attempting to write this post without it.)

spiral cut ham on platter with balsamic dijon glaze

You know how sometimes you make something that’s so good that even after you’re done with dinner you find yourself snacking on little bites as you put it away later? That was this ham for me the first time I made it.

It is tender and juicy, covered in a slightly crisp, sweet, tangy glaze that makes every mouthful tastier than the last. 

The balsamic dijon glaze is a fantastic compliment to the ham. Just a few ingredients and almost no real effort gets you an extraordinarily impressive meal that’s as suited for special occasions as it is for an everyday dinner.

3 Ingredient Ham Glaze

Because the glaze requires only three ingredients, for years, I’ve recommended using the best quality ingredients you can manage. I’ve gone so far as to use a high-quality aged balsamic whenever I have it on hand.

Guess what I’ve learned? It absolutely does not matter which balsamic vinegar you use to make this ham glaze. As long as the balsamic tastes good on its own, it will work fine.

Last Thanksgiving when I was roasting a ham, I was out of my fancy balsamic, so I grabbed the store-brand that I use for salad dressings. I’m happy to tell you that the ham turned out every bit as good as any of the glazes I’ve made using pricier vinegar.

3 ingredient ham glaze

For the dijon, just choose one with plenty of tang and flavor. It doesn’t need to be the most expensive dijon on the shelf but it should be tasty all on its own. You definitely do not want to substitute basic yellow deli mustard here.

You can use either light or dark brown sugar in the glaze. A darker brown sugar will yield a bit more of a molasses-heavy flavor, if that’s your jam. I do not recommend substituting with white sugar or a sugar substitute.

balsamic dijon glaze for ham

How to Glaze a Ham

To really get the flavors to penetrate the ham, I baste the meat several times in the cooking process. While that might make this recipe sound time-consuming, I promise you it’s super easy.

A generous brush of glaze every ten minutes or so toward the end of the cooking process ensures that every slice of ham is moist and flavorful. It also gives the balsamic glazed ham that beautiful “magazine worthy” glazed appearance that makes mouths water.

This savory ham glaze is so ridiculously easy and delicious that I cannot imagine ever again using the package of glaze that comes with ham from the store. Once you try it, I have a feeling you’ll agree.

Oh! And for a real treat, pop this easy corn casserole in the oven along with the ham, or start a crockpot of the best ever creamed corn and you’ll have one of our favorite dinners ready in no time.

basting a spiral cut ham with glaze

This ham glaze creates a company-worthy ham that is savory, sweet, tangy, tender, juicy and everything else you could want the perfect ham to be. I hope you love it as much as my family and I do!

Ham Glaze Recipe

  • ham
  • brown sugar
  • balsamic vinegar
  • dijon mustard
  1. Remove the ham from the refrigerator 1-2 hours before it needs to go into the oven. This will allow the meat to come a bit closer to room temperature before it goes into the oven.
  2. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a large roasting pan or a heavy-rimmed baking sheet with foil and place the ham cut side down in the pan. Roast for 45-50 minutes. While the ham begins roasting, combine the sugar, vinegar, and mustard in a small cup or bowl. Set aside next to the stove.
  3. Remove the ham from the oven and baste generously with the glaze, using about ¼ of the glaze. Continue to roast the ham until it is deep brown and glazed, brushing the ham with more glaze every 10 minutes or so.
  4. Transfer the ham to a large platter and let rest for 10-15 minutes prior to slicing.
close up of sliced ham on plater

How to Score a Ham

Place the ham on a large cutting board and score the ham with cuts, 1/2″ deep in a diamond pattern. If that sounds confusing, look down at the ham and start in a straight line from one end to the other making a 1/2″ deep cut all the way across and over the top of the ham.

Then repeat this cut, about an inch apart, slicing the ham from one side to the other. Then turn the ham 90 degrees and repeat, straight cuts, all the way across the ham.

It should resemble a checkerboard when you are finished. This process allows the glaze to penetrate deeper into the ham. It is well worth the effort and it only takes a few minutes. (You can skip this step with spiral-cut hams.)

scored ham with glaze on tray with serving fork

How to Use Leftover Ham

Sean and my boys can not get enough of this ham either. I typically have a whole list of meals planned to use up the leftovers and I rarely get to make them! We just keep reheating and eating the ham on its own.

Assuming you have more self-control than we do (it’s not hard), you could also use leftovers from this ham in lunches and dinners the rest of the week. From Stir Fry to Fried Rice to salads, this ham is delicious served up hot or cold.

Chop a bit of leftover ham in fluffy Ham and Cheese Biscuits  served alongside a steaming hot bowl of soup. It’s also divine in Cheesy Potato, Egg and Ham Breakfast Casserole.

If you do manage to squirrel away a bit of the ham, you need to try the Best Ham Sandwich of Your Life too.

Perhaps my favorite use for leftover ham, Ham Balls have been on my “Must Make” list every holiday season since my friend Rebecca turned me on to them a few years ago. (She loves them so much she serves them instead of traditional ham on the holidays!)

Ham Ball Stir Fry

Served as a main dish or on toothpicks as a party food, absolutely everyone loves these easy meatballs.

I also love ham balls in a simple Sweet and Sour Ham Ball Stir-Fry . It’s so popular in my house, in fact, that I often keep a half batch of Ham Balls in the freezer just to make this recipe.

(Did I mention that Ham Balls freeze beautifully, too?)

If you do find yourself with leftovers after making this glazed ham recipe, I urge you to give Ham Balls a try. You won’t be sorry.

Balsamic Dijon Glazed Ham on large white platter

I’ve been making this Balsamic Glazed Ham for every possible occasion for over ten years. I like to serve the ham with Vanilla Bean Sweet Potatoes or Garlic Smashed Potatoes, Slow-Cooker Creamed Corn, and Skillet Green Beans.

You can make this recipe again and again and not get sick of it. But if you love ham as much as I do, I have a feeling that you’ll also fall head-over-heels for some of our other ham favorites.

Ham and Cheese Waffles are a fun and new way to enjoy ham for breakfast or brunch. They’re absolutely perfect for a big weekend morning meal or as an easy breakfast any day of the week.

If you’re after a hot, comforting, stick-to-your-ribs meal that can cook all day in the crockpot,  Slow Cooker Potato Ham Chowder, or Ham and Corn Soup is the way to go. Serve it with some crusty bread and you have an easy meal perfect for a cold day.

Last but definitely not least, don’t forget to save the ham bone to make a pot of split pea soup. With a rich ham flavor and a balanced combination of potatoes, leeks, and split peas, this soup is a very pleasant surprise.

close up of sliced ham on plater
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Balsamic and Dijon Glazed Ham

This is beyond any doubt the BEST ham I have ever tasted – and the secret is all in the Ham Glaze.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 16
Calories 649kcal

Ingredients

  • 8-10 lb ham shank fully cooked
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • tablespoons dijon mustard

Instructions

  • Remove the ham from the refrigerator 1-2 hours before it needs to go into the oven. This will allow the meat to come a bit closer to room temperature before it goes into the oven.
  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a large roasting pan or a heavy-rimmed baking sheet with foil and place the ham cut side down in the pan. Roast for 45-50 minutes. While the ham begins roasting, combine the sugar, vinegar, and mustard in a small cup or bowl. Set aside next to the stove.
  • Remove the ham from the oven and baste generously with the glaze, using about ¼ of the glaze. Continue to roast the ham until it is deep brown and glazed, brushing the ham with more glaze every 10 minutes or so.
  • Transfer the ham to a large platter and let rest for 10-15 minutes prior to slicing.

Notes

I roast an 8 lb ham for 50 minutes, then baste it and roast for 10 minutes more, baste again, roast for 10 minutes more, baste it generously with all remaining glaze one last time, and roast it for 5 more minutes. An average of 10 minutes of cooking time per lb of ham should be just right.
IF YOUR HAM IS NOT SPIRAL CUT: Place the ham on a large cutting board and score the ham with cuts, 1/2″ deep in a diamond pattern. If that sounds confusing, look down at the ham and start in a straight line from one end to the other making a 1/2″ deep cut all the way across and over the top of the ham. Then repeat this cut, about an inch apart, slicing the ham from one side to the other. Then turn the ham 90 degrees and repeat, straight cuts, all the way across the ham. It should resemble a checkerboard when you are finished. This process allows the glaze to penetrate deeper into the ham. It is well worth the effort and it only takes a few minutes. (You can skip this step with spiral-cut hams.)

Nutrition

Calories: 649kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 55g | Fat: 42g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 158mg | Sodium: 3047mg | Potassium: 741mg | Sugar: 7g | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 2.3mg

{originally published 11/30/12 – recipe notes updated 3/13/23}

recipe loosely adapted from Bon Appetit via Epicurious

close up of sliced ham on platter

The post Balsamic Dijon Glazed Ham appeared first on Barefeet in the Kitchen.

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