- Date: Tuesday, March 16, 2010 -- 7pm
- Location: Berkeley, CA
- Kitchen: Our Temporary California Home
- Dining Companions: Matty and Phil O.
- Recipe Rating: A-
This recipe called for maple sugar, which I special ordered a while ago and hadn't gotten around to using yet. I found it when I was digging through the cupboards and I decided to go ahead and make this recipe. I started by putting a fully cooked ham in a big pot with water and maple syrup. I braised the ham for several hours, then cut off the rind and put the ham in a roasting pan. I whisked together the maple sugar, dry mustard, apple juice, and ground cloves and spooned the mixture over the ham. I put some raisins and reserved braising liquid around the ham and baked it, basting occasionally, until the ham was glazed. I sliced the meat and served it with the maple raisin sauce. I love braised meat but it had never occurred to me to braise fully cooked ham. I would have thought that it wouldn't end well, but luckily I was wrong. Braising had the same affect on the ham as it would have on a pork shoulder or a lamb shank: it made for fantastically tender meat. The flavor of the ham was also lovely -- the maple flavors complemented the ham nicely. In fact, I wished that there had been an even stronger maple flavor. The one thing I wasn't crazy about was the raisins. They were inoffensive enough, but there were just so many of them. Half as many raisins would have been plenty. That said, I would definitely prepare ham this way again. It was much tastier than a typical baked ham.
The recipe is here.
Well it was a long journey, but we made it to Tahoe. Snowfall and chain controls turned a three and a half hour drive into a six and a half hour drive, so we arrived around midnight! I drove the whole way (minus the last quarter of a mile) -- I had never driven with chains before so that was a fun new experience! The chains really do give you a lot of control in the snow, which was nice. I was having a perfectly pleasant time driving until the very end. We had to get up a hill to get to the house and the road hadn't been plowed. Our friends called us earlier to tell us that both of their cars had been unable to make it, and they were parked in someone's driveway at the bottom. By the time we got there we had been driving so long that we were determined to make it that last few blocks. I made the first attempt and it resulted in some very scary sliding down the hill. As soon as I gained control of the car, I jumped out and my special gentleman took over. He is fearless, and despite some skidding, he made it to the top! We shoveled ourselves a parking spot in the driveway, and parked right next to the house!
This morning my special gentleman is skiing at Squaw with our friends Chris, Emily, Peter, and Scott, and I am curled up in a comfy chair at the coffee shop in the Squaw Village with a good math book and a big cup of tea. I am relaxing and enjoying a lovely view of a snow-covered mountain! It's a nice way to spend a Saturday morning!