There’s nothing like a showstopping baked ham at the center of your holiday table. A succulent ham pairs well with virtually any side, looks impressive in your serving dish, and makes the best leftovers. The best part about a good baked ham recipe is that it’s easy to prepare, and cook time is short compared to other sizeable cuts of meat.
The downside? Most baked ham recipes feature brown sugar, maple syrup, or even soda. If you’re trying to keep your sugar or carbs down, sticky-sweet glazes aren’t the best route to take.
Should you miss out on a great ham because you’re watching your sugar? No way. Here’s a baked ham recipe that plays off of ham’s smoky, salty qualities with spicy mustard, rosemary, and a touch of honey to round it out.
Here’s how it’s done.
Mustard and Rosemary Baked Ham Recipe
Serves: 16* for an 8lb boneless
Time in the kitchen: 15 minutes prep, plus 1 hour* of cook time
*Varies based on size of ham
1 half Bone-In Ham, around 8 lbs. (We went with a spiral sliced)
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup spicy brown mustard
6 Tbsp. chopped rosemary
2 Tbsp. honey
8 cloves grated garlic
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
4 apples, peeled and sliced
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Place your soaked (see Tips section) and dried ham half cut side down in a baking dish or roasting pan so the fat cap side is facing up. Use a knife to score the fat cap in a checkered pattern.
Pour the water in the pan and cover the pan tightly with foil. Place the ham in the oven for approximately 40-45 minutes.
While the ham is roasting, combine the apple cider vinegar, mustard, rosemary, honey, garlic, black pepper and cloves.
Remove the ham from the oven. Rub about 2/3 of the mustard sauce all over the ham. You can also insert pieces of garlic clove in some of the cuts.
Insert a meat thermometer probe into the center of the ham and set the desired temperature for 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Arrange the sliced apples all around the ham and toss the slices in any accumulated juices on the bottom of the pan.
Cover the ham again for about 45 minutes. Remove the foil and baste the ham in the pan juices and give the apple slices a toss.
Coat the ham in the remaining sauce. Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees and roast until the internal temperature is reached and the outside is browned and bubbly. You can baste the ham a few times during the last roast if you’d like.
Remove the ham from the oven and plate the ham slices with some of the apples and pan sauce. Serve with your favorite holiday sides, like roasted carrots and brussels sprouts.
Some hams will be too salty if you don’t soak them prior to baking. Purchase your ham a few days before you plan to cook it, and check package directions for soaking requirements.
Store-bought hams are typically cured either with nitrites or celery powder and smoked. Since the ham is already cooked, you’re only warming the ham before serving. Make sure the label says “fully cooked.” Otherwise, this recipe’s cook time will be insufficient.
Look for a ham without glazes, and with minimal ingredients or added sugar. Ask your local butcher or farmer what they’d recommend. Brands like Pederson’s or Niman Ranch can be found in stores and are part of the Certified Humane Raised & Handled program. Pederson’s also sells a sugar-free ham that is Whole30 approved.
Hams can be bone-in or boneless, and may be intact or spiraled (pre-sliced). Bone-in hams take a little longer to heat up and spiraled hams can be slightly more prone to dry out, so reheat accordingly. Most hams come with instructions for temperatures and minutes per pound. The best way to make sure you’re reheating appropriately is with a meat thermometer that has a probe you can place in the center of the meat. Hams are done when the internal temperature reaches about 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
A bone-in ham will feed fewer people per pound than a boneless ham will. When looking for a ham to buy, aim for ?-½ lb. per person for a boneless ham and up to ¾ lb. per person for a bone-in ham.
A food blogger, recipe developer, and personal chef based in Missouri, Priscilla specializes in low-carb, Paleo, gluten-free, keto, vegetarian, and low FODMAP cooking. See what she’s cooking on Priscilla Cooks, and follow her food adventures on Instagram and Pinterest.