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Baked Ham With Coffee and Brown Sugar Glaze

Though it does sound a little unusual, the glaze in the recipe lends a lovely color and flavor to the exterior of the ham; after all, ham with red-eye gravy (made with coffee) is a Southern classic. And there's another creative element in this dish: though this is baked ham, it spends most of its cooking time poaching in water on top of the stove. This keeps the ham very moist (it heats to the center more quickly than in a dry oven). Additionally, the water method draws out the salt in the ham, rather than concentrating it. Just make sure that you keep the water below the boiling point—say, 180° to 190°F. Also make sure, of course, that the ham you choose is the best ham you can find. Serves at least 20

SKU 768-Recipe

  • 20 Serves


  • 12-to-14 pound smoked, ready-to-eat ham
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup strong black brewed coffee
  • 1 cup bread crumbs


  1. Place the ham in a very large stockpot and place water in the pot until it just covers the ham. Put the pot on the stove and turn the heat on high. When the water begins to boil, reduce heat to low and let the ham poach for 1 1/2 hours.
  2. While the ham is cooking, prepare the glaze: Combine the brown sugar, vinegar, mustard, and black coffee in a bowl, and stir with a fork until the sugar is dissolved. Add the bread crumbs and blend in. (The glaze will become somewhat pasty as the bread crumbs absorb the liquid.)
  3. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  4. Remove the ham from the pot of water and place it in a large baking pan. Carve away the excess fat, if desired, and some of the rind. Spread the glaze evenly over the surface of the ham. Reduce the oven heat to 375°F, and bake the ham in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the crust is hot and dark brown. Remove the ham from the pan and place on a cutting board. Allow to rest for at least 15 minutes before carving.