The Best Thing About Being A Pirate

A couple of weekends ago, we settled down to watch The Pirates! Band of Misfits and had a roaring good time. If you have kids -- and even if you don't -- I highly recommend watching it. Of course, I didn't quite expect it to inspire a menu for the following week, but that's exactly what happened:

Of course, we needed to have our own Ham Night! And not just any ham would do. I wanted a glaze that would leave our dinner crusted with a caramel-like layer that would be bursting with flavor. And it needed to include rum. After all, this is a pirate-inspired ham! So I grabbed a few choice ingredients and slathered them onto a generous ham shank that had been scored lightly. A few hours of light baking in the oven -- with one extra application of the glaze -- produced a beautiful ham that any pirate would be proud to call dinner. What's more, it really only takes a few minutes of your time to get it prepared and, while it takes a while to bake, you can use that time to get projects done around the house, make some great sides to have alongside your ham, or just sit back and relax.

You could certainly use a different preserve in place of the apple butter, but I was very pleased with the fruity element that it brought to the glaze. I might try orange marmalade in its place, at some point. Hams have been relatively well-priced in my neck of the woods this winter, so we may just have an encore of Ham Night soon! It really is the best part of being a pirate. Piracy not required!

Apple Butter Glazed Ham

  • 1 8-9 lb. ham shank, fully cooked
  • 1/2 cup apple butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 T. grainy mustard
  • 3 T. dark rum

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly score the ham in a criss cross pattern and set cut side down in a baking dish. Make sure there is about 2 inches of liquid on the bottom of the dish and around the bottom of the ham.

In a small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Using a brush, generously coat the ham with the glaze. Reserve 1/3 cup of the glaze.

Bake the ham for 3-4 hours or until warmed through and the glaze is bubbly and caramelized, basting with the remaining glaze about halfway through the baking time. Slice and serve.

  • Yields: 10-12 servings
  • Preparation Time: About 4 hours

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