Bourbon & Cola Sauced Ham

Easter dinner back at the old two-flat was the 4th of the big holiday meals, with Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day being the other 3. Of course, there was a platter of freshly made ravioli on the table, as well as a beautiful roast. When I was very young, that roast was a baby goat. I don’t remember those meals but I do remember 2 of the goats. You see, the “kid” was brought home live and kept in the basement awaiting execution. After hearing its bleating that first year, I must have been 4 or 5 years of age,  I was warned to stay out of the basement. Warned to stay out of a basement that I was certain contained a gazillion boy-eating spiders? No problem! The following year, again I heard the bleating and again I was told to stay clear. Well, I was a precocious child and knew that I was safe from the spiders if I stayed in the center of the basement, avoiding all corners, walls, and anything hanging from the ceiling. So, when Mom told me to stay out of the basement, I headed down there as soon as she looked the other way. Now, I may have been a precocious boy but I wasn’t one much for clandestine operations. Yes, I went into the cellar. Yes, I saw the baby goat. Yes, I felt Mom standing behind me. Yes, it was a tearful return up the stairs and into my room. No, I  do not remember having goat for that Easter dinner.

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I think it was the next year when our dinner switched from goat to lamb, but lamb’s reign as our Easter dinner’s centerpiece was short-lived. My siblings — one or both — did not care for the meat and Mom prepared something else. The thing is, I can’t remember what it was she served. I was a bit older and, as I’ve said in other posts, my attention was fixated on that platter of ravioli. Everything else on that table was put there to distract the weak-willed, their appetites to be sated by these “lesser” dishes. I, being of strong heart and mind, kept my eyes on the prize, eating serving after serving of the tasty pillows. So, today, when asked what Mom served, I can honestly say is that all I remember is the ravioli.

I started preparing a ham for Easter about 15 years ago. As much as I enjoy a baked ham dinner, I love a good ham sammich and spilt pea soup even more. And you can not have the latter if you don’t make the former. Early on, I baked my ham with pineapple rings and created a glaze with the juices and brown sugar. Then about 5 years ago, I saw ham prepared this way and decided to give it a try. I liked it so much that today it remains the only way that I prepare ham but you needn’t take my word for it.

Four years ago, Max was just about a year old and celebrating his first Easter at my house. With my lovely ham covered in foil and resting atop the stove, I was in the dining room preparing the table. I returned to find Max feasting on the back side of my lovely ham. The front of the ham was carved and Max spent the rest of Easter in his crate. Still not convinced? A year later and it’s now Max’s second Easter. This time, the ham was placed on a counter, back against the wall where Max surely could not reach it. Again, I left the kitchen to tend to the dinner table. When I returned, Max was in his crate — licking his chops. Sure enough, though he could barely reach it, he did manage to score a few bites off of the side of my lovely ham, though he was smart enough to go to his crate before I returned. Again, he spent the rest of Easter in his crate. So, even though he’s never been left alone again in the same room with one, this ham is so good that Max would risk spending Easter in a crate just to have another taste. The facts speak for themselves.

And as for the bourbon and Coke with the ham garnish? It was delicious!

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Bourbon and Cola Sauced Ham Recipe

Ingredients

  • 8 lb (3.6 kg) fully cooked, smoked ham
  • 8 oz. (236 ml) cola
  • 10 oz. (296 ml) bourbon divided
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) light brown sugar – dark may be substituted
  • 1/4 cup (116 g) mustard (See Variations below)
  • 1/2 cup (170 g) honey
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • whole cloves

Directions

  1. Place ham on a counter one hour before you plan to start preparing it. This will remove the chill from the ham.
  2. Lightly score the fat side of the ham, cutting in one direction and then again at a  90˚ angle, creating a diamond pattern. Place a whole clove wherever the cuts intersect.
  3. Pre-heat oven to 325˚ F (163˚ C).
  4. Using a medium saucepan, add 1 cup (236 ml) of bourbon, the cola, brown sugar, mustard, and thyme — AWAY FROM HEAT. Once the ingredients are combined, then heat over a med-low heat, reducing it until it is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.
  5. Place oven rack just beneath the middle position. Add 1 cup (236 ml) of water and the rest of the bourbon to the roasting pan.
  6. Place the ham, cut side down, in the pan. Insert a thermometer into the ham’s thickest part without touching any bone and baste the ham with some sauce before placing the ham in the oven.
  7. Continue to baste ham every 15 minutes until the ham’s internal temperature reaches 140˚ F (60˚ C) — about 90 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven, place ham on cutting board, tent with foil, and rest for 15 minutes.
  9. Meanwhile, pour pan juices into a grease separator and, after a few minutes, pour off the juices, leaving the grease behind.
  10. Into a small saucepan, add the pan juices and the remaining sauce over a med-high heat. Once it starts to boil, reduce heat to a simmer and reduce the sauce to the thickness of your choosing. Keep an eye on the saucepan lest it boil over.
  11. Once fully rested, place ham on a serving platter, bring to table with bourbon~cola sauce, and serve

Inspired by Tyler Florence, “The Ultimate”, reprinted HERE.

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Variations

The recipe calls for mustard and I’ve used yellow, Dijon, and whole grain mustard when preparing the sauce, all to good effect. My mustard of choice, however, is a Guinness-based, whole grain mustard that I make with a recipe I received from Mandy’s wonderful blog, and, she received it from Celia’s delightful blog. So, for those keeping track, this mustard uses Irish stout and came to my Chicago table from Australia, by way of South Africa. (What, no frequent flier miles?)

Today’s post featured a fully cooked, smoked ham (“City Ham”). I’ve also prepared smoked and partially cooked hams with this sauce, as well. Since both of these types of hams require being heated to 160˚ F ( 71˚C), it will take longer to roast them. So, I take a low and slow approach. I’ll pre-heat the oven to 300˚ F (149˚ C) and tightly tent the ham in its pan. I estimate it will take 15 to 20 minutes per pound to roast and at the 90 minute mark, I’ll start basting every 15 minutes. After 2 hours, having basted it twice, I’ll remove the foil for good and continue basting until the ham has reached the proper temperature.

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Notes 

Though the ham will have a slight glaze by the time it has finished roasting, this is the bourbon, cola, & honey mixture is more sauce than glaze. Frankly, I don’t prepare a ham nearly often enough to experiment with glazes to accompany this sauce. If I were to test glazes, I’d probably start with a honey-whole grain mustard glaze since those flavors are present in the sauce.

No matter the ham or the roasting time required, I prefer putting it into the pan with the cut-side down. Though the first slice may not have the darkened color we’re all accustomed to seeing, I find that slice, as well as the rest of the ham, to be far more moist than a ham roasted on its side.

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So, why bake a ham?

Roast ham, Swiss cheese, baby kale, and whole grain mustard on Ciabatta, with sides of potato salad and deep-fried pickle slices.

Roast ham, Swiss cheese, baby kale, and whole grain mustard on Ciabatta, with sides of potato salad and deep-fried pickle slices.

For the Sammiches and, later, Split Pea Soup (recipe coming)

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It’s déjà vu all over again … 

When I wrote this post 2 years ago, I told of going to high-end groceries if I wanted to prepare the dish and, once there, the price was per clam!?!?! Well, not anymore. I now have a choice of places to buy my clams and all are priced per pound — and linguine with clams has graced my table more than ever. If you have access to fresh clams, you won’t want to miss our recipe. You can see it by clicking HERE.

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Coming soon to a monitor near you …

Preview

Sugo alla Bolognese

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172 thoughts on “Bourbon & Cola Sauced Ham

    • Thank you, Anne. I make an Easter ham for the same reasons I roast a turkey at Thanksgiving or prepare a corned beef dinner for St. Patrick’s Day: For the sammiches! A hearty sandwich on a good roll is just about as close to the perfect meal as one can get — well, without pasta, that is. 🙂

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  1. A delicious recipe that seems pretty easy to make. We haven’t had ham in a few years now, and I’m inspired. My Mom used to make split pea soup with the ham hock and bits of ham left from Easter, that alone makes it worth making the ham.

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    • Thanks, Angeline. My Mom did the same and I follow her example every year. There are few soups as good as a bowl of homemade split pea soup. There’ll be a pot of it on my stovetop very soon. 🙂

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  2. Beautiful story John. I can empathise about the basement. I grew up in a three storey over basement house myself. It was damp and spooky down there. On the goat front, a few years ago, we were in Tanzania for my brother Peter’s wedding. He was out getting fitted for a suit when a stranger to us delivered a goat. It spent its time running around the compound like a demon. We hid from it in the house. When Peter got home, he said “A goat? Damn. I’ll have to get a barbecue”. He did.
    Best,
    Conor

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  3. Our traditional easter meal was either lamb (it had to be Welsh) or chicken – not overly exciting, but leftovers as you say are the BEST BIT. And count me in for proper ham and pea soup – my mum used to make it with bacon bones, which you just don’t see in the shops these days, maybe they’ll make a comeback… a bit like Max – Easter after Easter….. 🙂

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    • For me, the best part of any roast is the leftovers. I love a good sandwich and, normally, early the next morning you’ll see me heading to the bakery to get fresh rolls/bread for that day’s lunch. Yes, I’m a bit of a fanatic. Hmm … Maybe this is where Max got it from? Could it be that I’ve created the monster?

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  4. John, I have missed reading your posts while I have been MIA and come back to you sharing some blog love with a link to me – thank you friend and I agree, with all of the travelling a few frequent flyer miles are definitely in order and well worth it for the scrumity mustard.
    Your ham looks heavenly and think it too should be added to that ever growing list for when I come and visit – at this stage I may just have to move to Chicago for a while to get through the food list.
    Have a beautiful day.
    🙂 Mandy xo

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    • I certainly wasn’t trying to “flush you out of hiding”, Mandy, but I did want to credit you and Celia for this mustard. I’ve given it at Christmas now for 2 years and everyone loves it. And moments ago I enjoyed it on a ham & swiss sandwich. Yum!
      Thank you for the compliments. Rather that continue maintaining this ever-expanding list, when you arrive, we’ll just start at one end of the blog and work our way through to the end. 🙂
      It’s good hearing from you again, Mandy. I hope your Mum’s recovery is well-underway.

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    • Yes, I suppose you could, just use a low temp and cook it slowly. My family has a more traditional way of cooking a fresh pig leg, porchetta, and it’s roasted not braised.

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  5. Oh that was brillaint! So many wonderful stories…you in the cellar with the goat, Max (oh naughty Max!) and the ham, and then the much travelled mustard recipe. I, like you, could never resist poking my nose in where I was told not to and had a similar “rabbit” experience as a child in Italy. Luckily I still enjoy eating it 🙂 Now, I have never cooked with cola but I think this could be the recipe that convinces me to give it a go. Will make sure the pups are kept well clear of the whole operation as they too are pretty keen on ham!

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    • I tell you, Tanya, you and I should collaborate on a book. I, too, have a rabbit story but some things are better left unsaid — and I think you know exactly what I mean. Max is something else when food is involved. He’s the largest dog I’ve owned and reaches things that no other dog has attempted. One day I really should write a post about some of his greatest “feats”. Then again, maybe I won’t. Do I really want to relive some of those moments? Hmmm 🙂

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      • Quick rabbit story – my father-in-law got sick of his children not taking care of their rabbits…so….they arrived home from school to see their dead rabbits hanging from the clothes line ’cause they were “dinner tonight”. I’m sure none of the kids ate that night…

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    • Thank you so much! As good as the roast was, those sandwiches were the best and the soup will be, too. I’ve seen deep-fried pickle slices here on WP occasionally. Recently, friends and I went out to dinner and the place offered them as an appetizer and, also, as a sandwich. I tasted one and was sold! Here I used Bread & Butter pickles because I made and preserved some last Fall. I can’t wait to give dill pickle slices a try. They really are quite good.

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  6. We could have used this recipe for Sunday’s ham! Wonderful story about the bleating baby goat and your bravery, facing the spiders. Talk about fresh meat. It is hard to eat something you look in the eye, see its face, at least you didn’t name it. Excellent light on your “coming soon to a monitor near you”, too. Will share your story of the baby goat. And naughty Max with a taste for Easter ham? Oh my. Was that with the bourbon?

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    • Thank you for the compliments, Ruth. I really do have to get my timing better with these holiday meals. As a boy, I was always bringing home baby birds and animals. I’m sure Mom didn’t want me to see and name the goats. And yes, Max sampled 2 hams that had been basted with the bourbon-cola sauce. Both the ham and sauce had been cooked, though, so there’s no chance he got any alcohol. Goodness! That’s all I need. A drunken Max! I don’t even want to think about it! 🙂

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  7. I have a five-year old, so I am not surprised you ended up in the basement and that the “situation” ended up in tears. I also understand why the only thing you remember from your childhood dinners is the “pillows” — the meat would be forgotten here too if there was homemade ravioli on the table. Your ham looks lovely …and I can’t wait for your split pea recipe — I made it with leftovers too and it is an all-time favorite meal for the girls! Gotta love a popular dish that is made with leftovers!

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    • i would imagine you understood all too well my experience — from the other side. Truth be told, I didn’t know what was in store for the goats and it’s better I didn’t find out for years to come. And I’m with your girls. Spilt pea soup is the best! Making enough to freeze a quart or 2 is like money in the bank. 🙂

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  8. What a wonderful story! I can picture the creaky stairs, dark corners, cool concrete floor, and a scared little boy, eyes wide at the little goat. Reminds me of our basement growing up. There were long wooden crates that the older siblings told the younger ones were coffins. Not so nice. The ham looks great, but I agree sandwiches and soup are the finest uses of the noble cut.

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    • By your description, Dave, you know exactly what I meant and endured. I was so transfixed by that goat that Mom could have arrived with a marching band and I doubt I would have heard her approach. Even if I had, there really was no place to hide — well, none that I would have sought and actually gone into. I really only bake a ham every year for the sandwiches and split pea soup. Both are extraordinary.

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  9. We seldom do ham around here – I’m the only one with any real love for it, and too much goes to waste. The flip side is that Hubby doesn’t get split-pea soup, and he’s the only one who eats THAT… Perhaps a compromise – or company! -is in order here…

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    • Oh, no! No ham? I only bake one a year but I really must bake that one.Well, either I come visit you bearing ham and pasta, or, you come visit me for some ham and pasta. Problem solved. 🙂

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  10. Even though I’m a meat-eater, the bleating of those poor goats down in the basement awaiting their fate is really upsetting. Is there no other way to enjoy a roast? I love your ‘bourbon and coke ham’. It has such a great name – who could refuse! I would like to try this and of course, the best thing about a ham is that there is always so much left over – I’ll look forward to your upcoming recipes xx

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    • I was really young, Charlie, and it was years before I made the connection and, by that time, baby goat was no longer on the Easter dinner menu. I would have a tough time dealing with a baby goat in my cellar now. I’ll take my meat plastic-wrapped, thank you very much. You’re so right about the ham leftovers. There’s so much that can be done with them — and I intend to take full advantage.

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  11. What a wonderful story! My family rarely made ham for holiday dinners, really the only time we had it was at my Aunt’s house because my Unclea (not Italian) was tired of eating traditional Italian foods for holiday dinners. My Italian family usually made lamb, rabbit or pork loin for Easter and of course a pasta dish. As a child, I prefered the pasta dish, so I can relate how you had your eyes on the ravioli. I’ll have to try your ham recipe for our next family holiday gathering, sounds wonderful!

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    • Thanks, Lisa. For a non-Italian, I guess it would be difficult becoming accustomed to our holiday dinners. I remember the looks on the faces of our dinner guests who thought the huge platter of ravioli was the main course, only to see the turkey or porchetta brought out moments later. Like you, though, none of it mattered to me. Bring on the ravioli!

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  12. Great story, John! Although I was afraid it headed down a different–and much darker–path. How old are we when we take responsibility for what we eat? The ham looks marvelous, but I’m with you on the preference for sandwiches–is there anything greater than a sandwich made from slices of a home-baked ham? Thanks. Ken

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    • Funny thing, Ken. That was the last year we had a baby goat in the cellar and it was years before I realized what had happened. I was really young and, unbelievably, out of sight, out of mind. And I agree wtih you, Ken, a hearty ham sandwich is one of life’s great pleasures.

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  13. Bourbon! And Coke! And ham! I never thought I’d see there day where all three cohabited, but it looks amazing. I love the little story to start too.

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    • Thanks, Sam, and, frankly, I was surprised that they worked so well together. The honey and mustard really rounds off the bourbon & coke, making one tasty sauce. Who knew?

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  14. Got to love Max, quite a character he is. As a kid, I tended to do things I was told not to do (still doing so as a mature adult) so would mostly likely have ended up in the basement. Thanks for the tip about baking the ham cut-side down. Could enjoy that ham sandwich anytime of the day, even for breakfast right now. Like Barb, looking forward to your split pea soup recipe.

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    • Oh, Norma, Max and the hams are only the tip of the iceberg. He is one very special dog. As much mischief as he creates, I cannot imagine this house without him. You and I are of the same mind. There is no bad time for a ham sandwich. I love them!

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  15. Cola as in coca-cola? Who could imagine? Well, I trust your taste buds completely, I bet it is awesome!

    childhood memories are something! I vaguely remember my Grandma running after a headless chicken in the backyard, she would cut the head off to kill it but apparently they can still run away from you in that state. Or maybe it was my vivid imagination? I could not get anyone in my family to confirm the story for me….

    I will be sitting here patently waiting for your sugo bolognese…. home made pasta, I suppose? Large ribbons, elegant, gorgeous!

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    • Thank you, Sally, and yes, the pappardelle were hand-made. If I’m going to go through the trouble of making a true Bolognese, I’m going to make pasta for it!
      That chicken was not your imagination. I watched as Grandpa and Nonna wrung the necks of chickens and squab. Without going into the details, yes, headless birds can, though rarely, run for a few seconds. The sight was guaranteed to send us children screaming from the area. 🙂
      And yes, it’s cola as in Coca-Cola. There are a number of recipes using cola and not all include bourbon. Just today, a friend mentioned that a Southern version uses Dr. Pepper to baste the ham. As I mentioned to him, if I made ham more than once a year, I’d give it a try. As it is, I’ll stick with what I know works. 🙂

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  16. I honestly thought the story about the spiders was just to keep you out of the Easter treats. I had no idea that you were leading up to the story about the goat. Oh my, well at least she was not preparing hare/rabbit for the family feast. I guess it could have been worse.
    Now on to that ham loving that glaze and it really is all about those leftovers and making awesome sandwiches and pea soups. So what is that I see in the coming attractions, oh my that looks delicious.

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    • Buona notte, BAM! Unfortunately, there’s a rabbit story — not involving Easter — but I don’t think that one will be shared. As for the goat, I was really quite young and it really was a few years before I realized it’s fate. Ignorance was bliss.
      Next week’s photo was hand-cut pappardelle dressed with Bolognese. Having taken cooking lessons while on holiday in Bologna, you’re more than qualified to critique my recipe and I’m looking forward to your expert opinion.

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  17. John, I love your account of Max’s “special” Easter dinners. I can just picture it and how good that ham must have tasted. I can’t wait to try to make my next ham this way. I will definitely keep Sadie out of the kitchen. She is a rather tall Golden and there’s almost nowhere she can’t reach. Ham leftovers are really wonderful…split pea is soup is the best of ’em but my ham and swiss quiche last night wasn’t chopped liver either. 😉

    The pillowy ravioli would also have stolen the show for me too if I were at your mother’s table. Hope your week is going great. Take care.

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    • Yes, Geni, we’ve talked before of Max and Sadie. They’re related in some odd way, to be sure. I now put platters on top of my coffee maker and balanced atop the blender. If he figures out a way to get at those plates, all is lost!
      I agree that a ham & swiss quiche is delicious, as is sliced ham with eggs & hash browns in the morning, or, ham in a pasta carbonara. There is just no bad way to serve ham leftovers in my book.That’s why I bake one every year.
      Our weather is supposed to warm tomorrow, allowing me to get out into the garden. Yay! I hope your week is filled with similar pleasures, Geni.

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    • Thanks, Maria, and that’s what I tell myself. The fact that he has also “tasted” everything from Brussels Sprouts to Zucchini doesn’t alter the fact that he loves my ham. 🙂

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  18. Like others here, I probably would have ended up in the basement, but for sure I wouldn’t have eaten any goat…probably ever, after that! The tip about the cut side down on the ham is brilliant…so totally makes sense in keeping the moisture in the ham, and I love the sound of your sauce and the Guinness mustard, will have to look for that. I’d only add one thing to your recipe and that’s on your first instruction…seems like you need to add either place a dog-proof cage around the ham while it’s sitting on the counter warming up, or put it under a heavy cast iron pot, LOL! That Max…I can just see him licking his chops. 🙂

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    • Thanks, Betsy. I was pretty young when goat was served at Easter and, as I recall, the one I saw was the last one served. Surprisingly, years passed before I realized the goat’s fate. For all I knew, the goats were taken to the same farm that our dogs went to. 🙂
      The sauce is surprisingly good, though let the alcohol burn off before tasting, It’s pretty potent before that. And keep an eye on that saucepan. You don’t want it to boil over. What a mess!
      As for Max, he is “special”. Either I place food platter atop my small appliances — toaster, coffee maker, blender — or I make him come with me whenever I leave the kitchen. If I don’t, he is sure to sample something. When visiting Zia, she opens the drawers to her cabinets in an effort to keep the food out of his reach. When he learns to push them closed, we’re in trouble. 🙂

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  20. Great stories. And great recipe. I’ve made something quite similar, although without the cola (the bourbon was there, though!). This is actually fun to try outside on the Weber. I’ve only done this a couple of times (and used a different flavoring combo when I did) but it adds wonderful smokiness to a “city” ham (I don’t think I’d try the Weber method with a country ham). I used to live in Texas, and in the western part of the state where they raise both goats and sheep, goat is almost the universal favorite for eating. Sheep are considered “dirty” (they are raised mainly for wool). Anyway, fun post – thanks.

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    • Oh, how I miss my Webe!. I just do not have a safe, convenient place for one anymore. I’ve never grilled a ham but pork of any kind on a Weber is a real treat! Because of the number of ethnic groups here in Chicago, I’m sure goat is available but I’ve never seen it. Besides, I’ve only so many opportunities to prepare a roast and goat would be my last choice. Trust me, nothing will supplant my baked ham. I will not permit anything to come between me and ham sandwiches and split pea soup. Nothing! Thanks, John, for the compliments and the anecdotes.

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  21. Really nice glaze John. I make one that’s similar w/bourbon but never thought to try the Coke in there which I will definitely do next time. I’ve been using a mustard made by Maille – Old Style whole grain dijon mustard w/the little seeds in it – it’s very tasty.
    Oh boy, can I relate to your Max & trying to keep food for the people in the house! We brought our Lola to my sister in law’s one year for Thanksgiving & she left the turkey to rest. My daughter & I were sitting at the table and both turned to see Lola licking the bird. I grabbed Lola in time to rescue the turkey & we decided to not mention anything (but we didn’t eat any of the skin that year). Why get everybody upset right? Then there was the roast that disappeared from my counter…not only had Lola grabbed the prime rib, but she’d taken it to the family room & was eating it on the couch! She showed no remorse whatsoever.

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    • I think you’ll enjoy the cola, Diane. Not only does it add flavor but the sugar in it helps to make a bit of a glaze, though not as thick as many recipes.
      Your Lola and my Max could be related. The turkey story and your “solution” are priceless! And prime rib!?!?! Too funny — now, but at the time I bet you weren’t laughing. Max has sampled far more food and ruined more of my dinners than I will ever tell. Nothing on the stove, even while simmering, is safe. He’s grown older and all that’s changed is that he’s gotten much smarter about it. I never see him do it now, only the after-effects and him in his crate.

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      • I think your Max would be a perfect companion for Lola although we’d never get any food on the table except maybe a salad. You’re right I was not laughing when the prime rib – not even cooked so all bloody – landed on the sofa! I guess that’s the downside to having dogs who can reach counters.

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  22. Hi, John. I love a good ham and this looks and sounds delicious. I’ve never tried a bourbon-cola sauce for a smoked ham but I definitely will now. 🙂 Poor Max, though. All he wanted was some of this delicious ham. You can’t blame him. It’s all the ham’s fault. 😉

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    • Thank you, Richard for the compliment. Please don’t misunderstand this next statement but, “It’s the ham’s fault”??? Has Max gotten to you? He can be very persuasive but don’t fall for it. He’s “sampled” far too many dinners for blame to fall on anyone or thing other than he himself. 🙂

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  23. Now I do wish I’d seen this recipe earlier, but I’m bookmarking it anyway. We have ham more than once a year.. it’s my favorite for left-overs as well. What a great sauce this would be!! And Max.. I just love Max… that’s it, he can sit at my table and tuck into a slice of ham when he visits.. then he would be sent home with such bad habits..

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    • More than one ham a year?!?!? My admiration for you just grew by leaps and bounds! I’ve heard stories that people lived as you do, feasting on ham, but I thought they were just that, stories. Goodness! It’s as if I’m seeing the world with new eyes.
      Now, as for Max, I would be willing to bet that he would manage to “sample” at least one dish before we even got to the table. Barb, he is as determined as he is relentless. He is always on the alert for any opportunity to steal a mouthful. And it doesn’t matter where we are. If he is anything, he is consistent.:)

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  24. I was raised on a farm with a large goat herd — around 100 or so. To this day, there is nothing so adorable to me as a kid goat–kitten and puppies can’t even compare–so I can sympathies with your basement experience on both levels (my great aunt had a creepy-smelly basement I dare not enter unless properly challenged by an older sibling).
    Your ham sounds wonderful and I too look forward to the sandwiches as much as the meal. Now I have to go take a look at Mandy’s mustard, which sounds heavenly. 🙂

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    • Thank you, Judy, and you do know all about goats. They sure are cute when young, as are lambs.
      Mandy’s mustard is wonderful. I like a bit more heat so I add more brown mustard seeds than yellow. I’m not certain in you’re aware but if you heat the mustard, it become less spicy. This is why the mustard isn’t preserved. That’s OK because the Guinness will help it to remain fresh for 6 months in the fridge and, during that time, its heat will lessen somewhat. So, I make a big batch at Christmas to give as gifts and another batch in June/July to replenish my “stock.”

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  25. Hi John! Excellent recipe, the bourbon would totally compliment the salty briny ham! I’ve cooked ribs in cola before and the results were crazy good—it’s probably all that sugar! And using the ham in the split pea and the sandwich is making my mouth water (damn, lunch is two hours away, gotta workout first!).
    That Max is sure a naughty little guy, he must have carved a huge spot in your heart not to have had a bigger punishment (knowing how much you love food!) I would also risk being crated for an entire day for some of your ham!!
    I must refresh my memory for that delightful déjà vu; although I know JT would be absolutely all over the Bolognese!
    About the beast in the basement, I do envy the connection to the animal; we city slickers know our food as packaged meat, it’s rather disrespectful considering that animal gave its life to be our food. Having said that, growing up a city-slicker makes me rather squeamish and I probably could not eat it having seen it butchered. You just can’t win! Hope you have a great, spider-free day! 😉

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    • Thank you so much, Eva, for always leaving such gracious comments. You are spot on with your assessment of the cola’s effects on the ham. And I agree, it must be the sugar.
      Max has caused far more trouble than I’ll ever tell, Eva, but he is by far the most lovable mutt I’ve had. It’s not like he doesn’t know he’s doing wrong. He goes into his crate when he’s done! He is super motivated by food and will go to great lengths to get some — much to my chagrin. 🙂
      As many fowl as I saw butchered and helped dress, I never realized where the goats went until years later. I was very young and they could have told us the goats went to the same farm as the dogs. (Ahem) I got to a nearby live poultry shop for my Thanksgiving turkey. You pick your bird and they’ll slaughter and dress if for you while you wait. They will pray over the animal if you request it. I do not enjoy the experience but I force myself to return yearly otherwise it’s too easy for me to forget what is going on before my meat hits the cellophane wrapping.
      And may you have a spider-free day, as well. 🙂

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      • Thank you John, Max is motivated by food much like we are, and I couldn’t blame him with the gastronomic dishes coming out of your kitchen!
        That is a very interesting experience, what respect you must have for that turkey. Is it much more expensive than a regular free range, antibiotic free turkey? I’ll have to check out our butchers to see if they do it here. How would you know which one looks good? I’ve only ever seen them thoroughly plucked, dead of course.

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        • Thanks, Eva, I’m smiling broadly here. It’s a nice thought that it’s my cooking skills that drives Max to distraction but the reality is that he’s this way around any food. He’s stolen his groomer’s lunch, treats from a display at the pet store, as well as food from a bag on display, and Lucy’s food if he can get to it. He’s not at all picky. 🙂
          The poultry shop is an experience, all right, but not necessarily one you’d like. It is, first and foremost, a small slaughterhouse that follows Islamic Law (Zabiha/Halal) when the animals are killed, and that could include a prayer. A friend accompanied me once and by the time they handed me my dressed turkey, the poor guy was green and almost lost it when he felt the bird, now wrapped and bagged, and it was still warm. The last turkey I bought was in November, 2011, and it cost just under $45.00. Understand that the cost is based upon its weight while still alive. You watch them weigh the bird you’ve selected and off it goes to be “processed” in a room that everyone in the shop can see. All of the birds look alike — frightened — and I choose by size. If you like, we can include it on your tour — it’s located in Little India — when you come into town. Might I suggest we go to Trader Joe’s instead? 🙂
          Here’s their website: http://www.freshchickens.com/index.html

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          • I’ll take your word for it then! Your story telling capabilities have given me the virtual experience. In grade 13 (ok, now I’m dating myself because we don’t even have grade 13 anymore), I took an English lit course and one of the books was the Edible Woman by our esteemed Canadian writer Margaret Atwood. I can no longer remember what the book was about, but I do know that she had personified chickens to the point I couldn’t eat eggs for about a year (little embryos)! And then the chicken, if I touched raw chicken I couldn’t stomach it, nor could I eat anything off the bone (even now I can’t think too much about it). So, I shall take your word for it! Thanks for knocking some sense into me 😉
            Do you have Wegmans in Illinois? I understand that they are an experience in merchandizing I’d love to see.

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          • What a tender-hearted young woman you were! With chicken suddenly off the table, literally, your Mum must’ve had a bit of a time adjusting her meals for the family.
            Sorry, Eva, there’s no Wegman’s this far West. Ironically, you’re closer to them than I. They’ve stores in Buffalo & Rochester, New York.

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  26. So enjoyed the story of crafty Max, sneaking a few bites of ham and then nipping into his crate to foil you with feigned innocence. I can imagine the comment bubble above his head: “Who? Me? I didn’t do it!” (A phrase I heard often over the years from my son.) Even a dish as tasty as this ham is more delicious when accompanied by a good story!

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  27. John, I’ve never baked a ham in cola, but what an interesting idea! My mum used to cook chicken in cola when I was growing up. And I LOVE that you use Guinness mustard (that originally came from a US website) which you got from Mandy who got it from my blog! It’s like we’ve closed a loop! I love reading your childhood stories – poor baby capretto (it took me a while to realise that the “capretto” on sale at the Italian butcher was goat!). 🙂 xx

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    • Over time, Celia, the bourbon-cola mixture isn’t much of a glaze but it does make a wonderful sauce. The first time was a surprise and I’ve enjoyed it ever since. Yes, the poor baby capretto. 😦

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  28. When I was young and growing up on our “farm” I remember being extremely excited when the animals would be butchered. Unfortunately or fortunately I only got to see it once when I was older than you and the goat.

    Of course you know my feeling about this dish. Brilliance to the nth degree. But you should really give half to Max. After all if you make something this good, pay it forward and share with man’s best friend. 😉

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    • I watched as they slaughtered poultry and helped them dress the birds, as well as the rabbits and pheasants Dad brought home from his hunting trips. The goat, though, would have been a bit much for me to handle then — and I’m not so sure i could handle it now. Having to pick my turkey and watch it butchered every Thanksgiving is not something I’m eager to see.
      Don’t worry about Max, Jed. He has stolen more food off of my plate, table, and stovetop, not to mention at Zia’s home, than his predecessors combined. It’s only a matter of time before he figures out a way to open the fridge.

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  29. I share your love for ravioli, but unfortunately never had them when I was a kid. Thanks for sharing another great family history. I refused to eat any rabbit for as long as I had a rabbit as a pet. Now I don’t have any qualms about dispatching lobsters, but I’m not sure I could butcher a goat.
    Not sure if I am ready to cook with cola 😉

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    • I certainly could not butcher a goat, Stefan. No way! i did help dress poultry, pheasants, and rabbits as a boy but never had to kill any of them. I still couldn’t do it today. I doubt if I ever would have tried the recipe if it had been a different chef demonstrating the recipe. I started “following” Tyler Florence about 10 years ago and learned to trust his recipes. Considering I rarely drink soda of any kind, my using cola here was a major leap of faith. I must say, though, it worked! Just ask Max. 😉

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  30. I loved the stories you tell on this post.. Actually, I love all your stories. The one about Max enjoying the Easter ham (2x) reminded me of the time I placed a graduation cake (which I’d made) down in my friend’s cellar ’cause it was so very hot upstairs that the butter in the frosting had started melting. A while later, my friend discovered her dog happily munching away on the cake….. We did the same thing you did with the ham (2x) – cut off the offended end and served the rest – which announced “Happy Graduation Jennif……”

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    • Thank you, Cecile, for your kind words and for sharing your anecdote about Jennifer’s cake. Too funny! When I was a boy, with about a dozen people seated at her Thanksgiving table, while Mom brought out a platter of turkey, our dog was dragging the rest of the carcass into the basement. Mom followed “the trail” down the very same steps I’d taken a few years previously to see the goat. Luckily, she’d carved enough turkey for everyone to get a piece, however small, and there was enough ravioli on the table to insure no one left that table hungry. Like my hams, it wasn’t funny at the time but we’ve laughed about it ever since.

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  31. Max the ham-stealer is so funny! As a story it’s hilarious, but to you, the chef, probably not so much. But he had the right idea. The aroma got to him and he couldn’t help it. Just like you couldn’t keep yourself from going down into the basement. I think you must have blocked the memory of the meal, John. Trauma! I have a very weak mind when it comes to thinking about where my food source comes from. I’d probably stick with pasta after that! 🙂 But this is a beautiful ham, and in our family, it’s the men who prepare the ham! Don’t really know why other than tradition. So I’m going to pass this lovely recipe on to my brother who I think will really find it a nice change from the pineapple ring traditional! For my tastes, though, I would go right for the linguine with clams! I’m glad you reposted that, too! 🙂

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    • Debra, Max has stolen .. er .. “sampled” so much food around here — and wherever he goes, for that matter — that I cannot stay angry with him. I’ve just got to be smarter. I never leave him alone where food is out and, when I must, that food is high enough that he cannot reach it. On top of the coffeemaker, on top of the blender, you get the idea. Even taking his food thievery into account, he’s the best dog I’ve had and I cannot imagine these past 5 years without him.
      I’m not so strong either when it comes to considering how meat gets to our tables, Debra. I’ve a feeling I don’t recall goat being served simply because the adults didn’t make a big deal of it, probably speaking of it in Italian lest we little ones would run from the table screaming. To this day, I don’t know who butchered the animals or how — and I’ve no interest in finding out, either.

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  32. Thank you for the wonderful stories and I am on Max’s side 😉 ! Thank you also for that fabulous mustard recipe of Celia’s which must have appeared on her blog before I had the wisdom to find it 🙂 ! I think ham [and other meats] in cola is a rather US ‘thing’ like mac’and’cheese. Looks like a succulent recipe but since I don’t eat processed meat nor keep coke in the house . . . well your anticipated anticipated soup recipe will have sammies with a different topping 😀 ! Oh, as far as bacon bones and ham hocks go, they are already in abandon at all Oz supermarkets together with split peas, soup ‘mixes’ etc!!!

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    • Thanks, Eha, and if you liked that Max story, I’ve got dozens more for you. He is one of a kind, to be sure. I first tried this recipe because of my trust in the chef that I watched prepare it for the first time. I am not a cola drinker. In fact, I rarely drink soda of any kind. But, I do love ham and look forward to this time of year just so that I can roast one. I do appreciate, though, that this is not necessarily a dish you — and a number of my other WP friends — would find appealing. Still, though, you all come for a visit, leaving very kind remarks. And I do appreciate them. 🙂

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      • Oh Milord, I find it very ‘appealing’! And I have that dreadful habit of always [well, mostly] saying how I see it! But then the doctor/nutritionist and the latest from Yale and Harvard has a fight with my being a lifelong foodie! So please bear with me! My remarks are never personal!!!!!!!!!

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  33. Sort of reminds of the end of a Christmas Story where the neighbors hounds come in and swipe the turkey! Who can resist a good ham??? I sure couldn’t! I do love the story John, especially how you ended the goat tradition! We’ve always had lamb for Easter. If I were to see the poor creature before dinner, I surely would be a vegetarian!

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    • Thanks, Tanya, and yes, more than one person has mentioned that scene and Max. Thank heavens there’s only one of him or I’d starve!
      It wasn’t till years later that I connected the baby goat with Easter dinner. I cannot imagine what we kids would have done had we figured it out at the table.
      Just before Thanksgiving, I go to a live poultry shop and pick out the bird that will end up on my table. It is not a process I’m eager to see but I’m fooling myself if I think the frozen one at my grocer’s met a kinder fate. Even so, I’d never eat lamb again if i had to pick a baby to be slaughtered.

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  34. That looks like an excellent ham! I wish that goat was cheap in the UK. There’s a man running a goat cheese stall at the farmer’s market who will sell goat meat to order, but the prices are similar to that of best caviar! I’m just going to have to wait until I get back to Spain before I roast a goat 😉

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    • Thanks, MD. I’ve never seen goat for sale here but I know it must be. We’ve many ethnic groups that live here and goat is a part of their diets, even if only for celebratory occasions. They must be getting it from somewhere. I just don’t know if I really need to find another market. So many markets, so little time. 😉

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    • Thanks, Michelle. I think I can speak for all of the former children of the two-flat when I say thank heavens none of us ever saw — nor heard — a piglet on those premises. 🙂

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  35. What priceless memories, John! It is so nice that you recall them so vividly!
    And, who can say no to a delicious platter of fresh-made ravioli?!?
    Also, very yummy, interesting ham recipe too!
    Thank you, John.

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    • Thank you, Stefano, for your kind words. We all have so many memories of our time in that two-flat, Stefano. This blog is becoming a repository of not just the dishes but of the good times that are associated with each. It was a special place and time and we’re all lucky to have experienced it.

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  36. Oh John! You brought back some memories… As a child, we would drive out to a farm with my Uncle Tony (doesn’t every Italian have an Uncle Tony?), where we would choose our lamb, have it… (I won’t use that awful word) and bring it home in the trunk! I don’t know how I still love lamb, but I do! Know what else I love? Ham! And yours is gorgeous! I know Nigella Lawson cooks her ham with coke, but I’d rather try this coke & Bourbon recipe with my next ham!

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    • I’m glad that this post brought back some warm memories of your youth and family, Lidia. I’m fascinated to learn how many of “us” there are. Our experiences are never exactly alike but they certainly are similar and it doesn’t matter where we call home. We share a wonderful heritage.

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      • I made it John! That cola & bourbon sauce poured over my ham was truly delicious! I will definitely be posting about this one! Thanks!

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        • Excellent news, Lidia! I’m so glad to hear that you made and enjoyed the ham. I never would have guessed that bourbon & coke would make such a great sauce.
          Thank you for coming back to tell me this. You’ve made my night!

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  37. You and Max are a match made in heaven. You cook. He eats! Last night, when I first read this post the G.O. was wandering through and I told him what it was… he said “mmmpppfffhhh”. Neither of us like Bourbon. When I shared the story and Max’s recommendation, it was… oh, that sounds good 🙂 Now I have read through and enjoyed the comments, I can finally add my own… I think I will make this in June for the G.O.’s birthday and keep the leftovers aside for the “Sammiches and, later, Split Pea Soup” 🙂

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    • Considering how many dishes Max has “critiqued”, I should come up with some sort of symbol indicating that “Max has approved this recipe.” I think you’d be surprised to learn just how adventurous his palate is. 🙂
      I’m honored that you’d consider making this ham for the G.O.’s birthday, EllaDee. Thank you and I can only hope you enjoy it as much as we — Max & I — do. Besides, if you’re at all like me, baking a ham is nothing but a gateway to some fantastic sammiches and what is probably the best of all soups. You really cannot go wrong.

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  38. The bourbon sounds perfect with this. I don’t make hams often either but this goes on my list to try.

    I noticed you’ve made this with cured/uncooked hams. How did they compare? I made a cured/uncooked ham this year (ordered from a well known supplier) and we all found it much saltier and drier than the “city hams”.

    As for the goat, you should have stayed out of the basement 🙂 I had a chance (as an adult) to eat a goat that I knew personally. Couldn’t touch a bite. And who killed your goat? That’s not an easy task…

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    • Thank you for leaving such a great comment. I, too, found the uncooked ham to be quite salty. Luckily, I decided to use a lower roasting temperature to prevent the ham from drying out. Because of this, I was able to baste it more often with the sauce and it became more like a traditional glaze. That’s important because the sauce became too salty for my tastes due to the ham. Yes, lucky. The sauce wasn’t great but the ham had this beautiful dark glaze and, since it was roasted cut-side down, it was very moist. Even so, I prefer to have a sauce and will seek out cooked hams. I may give a partially cooked ham a try, just to see the salt content, but they aren’t readily available like the fully cooked hams are.
      As for the baby goats, I’ve no Idea who “took care” of them. Frankly, i never asked and there’s no need to know more than I already do. I honestly didn’t realize their true fate until years later. You see, there were a few animals that came and went, spending the rest of their lives “at a farm”. Yes, I eventually figured that out, too. 😉

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  39. Love your story telling. There are memories I’ve erased from my mine as well. My mother raised rabbits, chickens and ducks in the backyard. Once I saw how they were killed it took a long time for me to recover from the chickens neck being rung and to this day can’t eat rabbit or duck. I love the ham sauce. We just had ham for Easter, but the next time I make it I will surely use your recipe.

    BE ENCOURAGED! BE BLESSED!

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    • Oh, Francine. I, too, saw more than my fair share of poultry having their necks wrung. That’s just the way things were back then. I think we have a better respect for our food than many do today. Meat isn’t born wrapped in cellophane. I’m honored that you’d use this recipe for your holiday ham, Francine. Thank you and I hope you all enjoy it.

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  40. Bourbon & coke ham, how could it not taste as juicy & delicious as it looks? I bet the leftovers would make a mean croque monsieur too.

    On a different note, one holiday my 5 yo niece made “friends” with the live lobster. When she got to the dinner table and realized that her buddy was on the plate big tears rolled down her face … while dipping it in butter and eating. She’s always been a tough kid lol.

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    • Yes, Cam, they would make a mean croque monsieur, as well as a fine carbonara, a tasty quiche, and a lovely frittata. This is why I so love a baked ham and will always buy one too large for the occasion. The leftovers are like gold and I take full advantage.
      Your niece sounds like a foodie in the making. I can just see her, crocodile tears and all, dining on lobster. Too cute. 🙂

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  41. I like your goat story – and like you I’d have been terrified of the spiders (still would be) but unable to resist going to have a look. The ravioli must have been wonderful, but I’m less sure about the bourbon and Coke (being European)!

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    • I’m sorry to say I never outgrew my fear either. You should see me when I go out to do some weeding in the garden. It’s embarrassing. I wasn’t sure about the cola either. I’m not a soft drink person and can go a month without having so much as a sip. I do trust the chef, though, that I watched make it years ago and took a leap of faith. It paid off because the sauce is a good one. Now all I have to do is find something to do with the other bottles of cola I was forced to buy because a single bottle costs nearly as much as 6.

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  42. Every year we go to friends for Easter where there is always a ham. Unfortunately, I know it is not anywhere near as good as the one you enjoy with your family. I know that your Easter celebration with all the food you prepare is special to all that attend.

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    • That is such a gracious compliment to leave, Karen, thank you. Yes, our family meals are wonderful but you’ve shared some of your celebratory meals, too, and none are anything but deliciously prepared and beautifully presented. I’m more than certain that your friends would return the favor when you dine with them. I bet you had a loverly Easter, too. And it’s nice to be guest rather than hostess once in a while. 🙂

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  43. Now this is what I call a baked ham! The bourbon and cola has got to give this a wonderful flavor. It looks like the ham my grandmother use to make and that one was delicious. I’m not a big sandwich person but there’s no way I would turn down that ham sandwich. You just dish out an overdose of inspiration here John!

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    • Thank you so much, MJ. The sauce is a good one and really makes the dinner special. Even so, for me, it’s all about the sandwiches and split pea soup. By the way, I feel the same about roast turkey and corned beef. The actual meal is just something I have to do so that I can have a glorious sandwich at midnight and another for lunch the next day. All the better when I bake bread for the sandwiches. 🙂

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  44. Thank you for sharing the story from your childhood! What interesting lives people have! The ham looks wonderful! The Finnish Christmas includes a salted ham that is baked, (the meat is slightly gray in color) I’m sure this sauce would work well with it!

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    • Thank you so much. One of the things I enjoy most about blogging is that one is introduced to so many people and their customs. Learning how people celebrate Easter is a perfect example. One of the way ham is prepared here is to be smoked only. Once purchased, you roast it slowly. I’ve tried this recipe with them but the ham, like yours I presume, is a bit salty making the sauce much too salty once it is reduced. Instead of using it as a sauce, I would reduce it more and use it as a traditional glaze.

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  45. John, I am not a ham person, hammy maybe, but this sounds absolutely delicious. My grandmother made ham for Easter with cloves in a crisscross design. I think perhaps it’s the cloves that are off putting in my mind. I eat ham sandwiches quite often. Who knows. This was not meant to be a therapy session for Susie.

    My cocker spaniel, Ginger, stole my Thanksgiving turkey and held it hostage under my son’s bed so I feel your pain.

    Nice job as always. 🙂

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    • Thanks, Susie. Cloves are such a strong flavoring. A little goes a long way, especially if you’re not particularly fond of them. I think every dog owner has a story of a missing main course. With Max, I’ve several. Max grew to twice the size the shelter predicted and is just so much taller than any dogs I’ve had. Nothing is out of his reach. It’s not all negatives, though. On days when my back is at its worst, I can pat his head without having to bend in the slightest. Care for some lemonade? 🙂

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  46. That ham sounds and looks delicious! I’m going to have to try your recipe next time. I ordered a Kurobuta ham this year. Just covered it with grainy maple mustard and brown sugar. I actually paid attention when ordering this time (unlike at Christmas) and didn’t end up with a 25 pound pork roast. 😉 It was very good but I’m thinking your bourbon concoction would have made it perfect! ~ April

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    • Thank you, April. Your comment about being more attentive brought a smile. When I bought this ham, I was looking for a cured but partially or uncooked ham. They tend to be saltier and I wanted to play around with the sauce a bit. When I got my ham out of the fridge to bring it up to temperature, I removed its packaging. In the process, I removed the grocer’s price label and underneath it were the words “Fully Cooked Ham.” I’ll try again next year.

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  47. ChgoJohn, I remember the scoring of the ham and the insertion of the whole cloves at the intersections–way back when I was a child. There might have been canned pineapple in there somewhere, too, but I can’t say for sure. Maybe even some brown sugar. Selective memories. Love your dog story. Can’t wait to hear about year three!

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    • Thank you, Maureen. That’s very kind of you to say. I’ve not heard much of boy-eating spiders for some time. But, then again, I don’t talk to many 4 or 5 year-olds these days. They’re the experts in these matters. 🙂

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  48. I’d be diving for the ravioli too! Your story made me laugh out loud! But talking about bleating goats, we have an Islamic holiday that commemorates the sacrifice of Abraham and so we sacrifice goats, lambs cow,.,whatever in memory..but as a child I would see these goats and then one day the ground would be gushing red and we’d have a lot of meat. I really hated those days. The men of the family ate every piece of the animal…I could barely sit at the dinner table.
    Well, your ham looks beautiful and sounds delicious, but I really will never get to try it. I’ve made coke chicken though….

    Nazneen

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    • I think I would have been equally upset, Nazreen, if my parents had told us that the main course was the goat we’d heard a few days before. I was very young, though, and never figured it out. Ignorance is bliss! And I honestly have no memory of eating it. Like today, if there’s ravioli on the table, everything else just doesn’t exist. I’ve heard of coke chicken and maybe should give it a try. If coke worked so well with ham, it must be good with chicken, too. I’m glad you enjoyed this post and thank you so much for sharing your story with us.

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  49. I’d probably risk sitting in time out to sneak tastes of this ham too. You don’t have to convince me that this is delicious! We usually make a ham at least once in the summer and it’s always been with the pineapples and brown sugar. I think this summer we’ll try something new. 🙂 And you know I’d be right there with you eating helping after helping of ravioli. There would be no distractions that could get in my way (unless it was your lasagna or cannoli!). 🙂

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    • You needn’t worry about time outs, Kristy. I’m sure you’d be using a knife to cut off a tidbit. You wouldn’t put your head under the foil and take a bite — or three. It’s not the thievery is the was it’s done. 🙂
      Glad to know you’d be going toe-to-toe with me over the ravioli. Maybe I’ll invite you over just for dessert. Nothing and no one, Kristy, comes between me and my ravioli! 🙂

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  50. I love the way you’ve written this… I can taste it, I swear!

    After the Easter weekend, my crazy parents loaded our vehicle with six beef roasts to take home with us. (“We’re sick of roast beef,” they said.) I began researching different ways to make roast beef and discovered many recipes that use cola. I had no idea cola could be used so often in preparing meat!

    So now that I’ve seen cola used in one of your recipes, I know it’s worth a try.

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    • Aren’t parents great? Mine would do the same for me. I never left them without Mom packing a bunch of frozen foods for me. If I protested and said I’d no room, she’d tell me to “Make some.” 🙂
      I’ve never heard of cola with beef but, I must admit, I’d not heard of using it with chicken until I started reading the comments. I think it’s the sugar content. As the roast cooks, the sugar caramelizes, to a degree. If it worked for ham, why not beef, too? Thanks for commenting and I’m glad you enjoyed the post.

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    • Thanks, Francesca. To this day, I do not think I could handle seeing a baby goat slaughtered, though I’m fully aware that they aren’t born wrapped in cellophane. I have a hard enough time choosing my turkey at the live poultry shop.

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  51. How did I not find this until today? But it has been a crazy week. I’ m not a ham lover but am getting used to shaved ham, just a little bit. I do remember cola covered briskets. And I had a dog, Honey. I found her on the street and brought her home. She was my first real dog at the age of 16. Many other little poodles and such were either hit by cars or brought “to the farm” because my father could never make it through the house training process. He at least found them homes close to my house so I could visit whenever I wanted. in any case, Honey was notorious for stealing food off the counter. My mother figured out that when thawing a roast she put it inside the cold oven to protect it. How Honey made it through to live to the age of 14 I’ll never know. I brought her to college with me where she would terrorize the bike riders who raced by in front of the house. Off she’d go like a wild game chasing unsuspecting riders. Good memories!

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    • Just 2 comments up, using coke for beef was mentioned. I’ve never heard of it. Now I’m seriously thinking of giving it a try, along with cola chicken. Why not?
      Rescue dogs make the best pets. Your Honey is proof of that. She and my Max would have gotten along just fine, though the rest of us would have starved. Max is just one opposable digit away from getting into the fridge, the freezer, and opening cans. I check his paws every now and again to make sure he’s not sprouting one. 🙂

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  52. What a cute story John!! I don’t blame you at all. Leave alone gazillion spiders, damp and dunky basements can give me creeps even at this age, lol!! Goat happens to be my favorite meat and I would have loved to know how it was prepared for Easter. The ham looks very interesting, and looks delicious.

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    • I wondered about trying goat again but I’ve no idea where to purchase it. With so many ethic groups in Chicago, I’m sure there must be more than a few places where it can be bought. Maybe I should check around. I’m glad you enjoyed the post and thanks for the nice compliments.

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  53. My mother has a story of my aunt winning a live turkey for Thanksgiving… yes, a week later it went on their table – and nobody ate it. I think about that a lot when I eat meat or poultry (or fish). Bournbon and cola – very nice combo. Awaiting sugo.

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    • And that’s why we children weren’t supposed to go near the goat. Your poor Aunt must have been truly torn. It’s not easy to prepare and serve a turkey dinner. Who could have known it would be so hard to eat it, too? I’m glad you the recipe and hope you’ll enjoy tomorrow’s Bolognese. 🙂

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  54. That dog is priceless, we will try this next year, our ham was deeply dissappointing this year, i need to wrest easter dinner from sandys hands and tell her to relax and I will make this ham! We may need a crate for Blue, he is a chewer!! c

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    • You don’t know the half of it, Celi, but I wouldn’t trade him for the world. Sorry that your ham wasn’t as good as planned. I think you’ll like this recipe. The sauce is a good one. A chewer, huh? He’ll probably outgrow it but no telling what he’ll get into in the meantime. With luck, he’ll be like Max and never eat what he chews up. That removes a great deal of the danger. Max spends a couple hours every day in his crate. He just likes to go in there and nap. Blue will like his, too.

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  55. Pingback: Bourbon & Cola Glazed Ham from the Bartolini kitchens | ohlidia

  56. Look at that ham… Fabulous! I’ve tried Nigella’s recipe, in which she boils ham in cola (about 2 litres of it!) and it was good, but the problem is that I’m never quite sure I’ve got the right type of ham for what I’m making. It’s really hard to find the exact equivalent here (e.g. cut of meat, whether it’s smoked, fully cooked, partially cooked, an so on!). Maybe you can pop a slice of that in the post next time you make it! Yum.

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    • Can you imagine what the mails would be like if everyone on WordPress was able to mail dishes back and forth? I’ll put you on the top of the “ham list,” though, just in case it does become possible one day. 🙂

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  57. We are eating bourbon & cola baked ham made to your recipe! I was a little late in getting to it, a month after the G.O’s birthday, but we’ve had it for dinner twice with baked potato salad (dressed with basil, sun dried tomatoes, red onion, bell pepper, mustard, white wine vinegar & olive oil) with a leaf salad, and the G.O. has taken leftovers for lunch 2 days in a row. And there is still more…
    We always have a cold ham at Christmas but are now going to, each July, have a baked winter ham 🙂

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    • I’m glad you made the recipe, EllaDee, and even happier that you enjoyed it. That’s a lot of ham to eat if you’re not pleased with it. And I do know what it’s like to deal with the leftovers. I’ve actually made it for myself. After the 3rd day of sandwiches, I start carving up the remnants and freezing them. I like it but there’s only so much ham one can eat. 😉

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