What is a Rum Ham?
A Rum Ham is a ham that has been steeped and injected with a rum brine, and coated with a rum glaze.
Where Did it come from?
Being a big fan of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, I wanted to make a rum ham after seeing Frank Reynolds’ floating away from the Jersey Shore. However, unlike Frank, I did not want to just soak a ham in rum overnight, so I unsuccessfully searched around on the internet for a recipe.
Why Should I Make a Rum Ham?
You should make the rum ham for two reasons. First, because it is impressive. When done correctly, your guests will be drooling from the ham's savory, booze flavor. Second, for someone who has just started cooking this is a big confidence booster.
Keep in Mind...
First, you should consider your guests. Unlike Frank, you care about the well being of your guests. Before serving your guests, mention that your food was made with alcohol. Guests who have allergies, recovering from a substance addiction, pregnant, nursing, or parents of underage children, will be thankful for this disclaimer.
Second, when boiling rum for either the glaze or brine. I recommend using a stock pot or something comparable.
The most hated part of dinner. No matter what you do, you will have something to clean. However, you can reduce the time spent cleaning by lining your baking dish with tinfoil. If you forget to line your baking dish, then immediately scrape the dripping into the trash, and then immediately soak your dish with soap. Doing that will help loosen the residue and also save you time.
Step 1: You'll Need the Following
The following ingredients are based making a 1.5 pound ham. You will need to adjust ingredients accordingly if you use a larger ham.
- Rum (one 750Ml bottle, or more)
- Brown Sugar (2 cups)
- Molasses (1/4 - 3/4 cup)
- Salt (1 cup)
- Water (2 cup)
- Dijon Mustard (1 table spoon)
- Butter (stick)
- Bay leaf (not pictured)
- Baking dish (not pictured)
- Cooking thermometer
- Cutting board
- Oven mitts
- Stock pot
- Baking rack
- Tin foil
- When baking the ham, the temperature should be set between 325 to 350 Fahrenheit (F) or 162 - 176 Celsius (C).
- Ham's internal temperature should meet or exceed 140F or 60C
Step 2: Making the Brine
To make the brine you will need these ingredients:
- Brown sugar
Boil the Rum:
- Pour 1/4 of the bottle of rum into a pot
- Put a lid on the rum, bringing it to boil for 3 to 4 minutes
- Use a lid that FITS your pot
- A lid that is too large will drip rum over the sides potentially creating a fire hazard
- Add a handful of cloves and peppercorn for taste
Mix the Brine:
- Mix together ¼ a cup of salt and ½ a cup of brown sugar in a mixing bowl
- Add molasses to the mixture
- Add 1/4 of a cup
- Pour the boiled rum into the mixture, then add 2 cups of water
- Mix everything together
Prepare the Ham:
- Place the ham into a larger freezer bag or big enough storage box
- Pour the brine over the ham (it should completely cover)
- Note: If you do not have an injector, make deep cuts over the ham so the brine can soak in
- Put the ham into the fridge
Step 3: The Post-Brine Steep
Steep the Ham:
Ideally, the ham should steep overnight. But, if time is limited, try and steep the ham for an extended period of time.
- The longer the steep the more flavorful the rum ham will be
Inject the Brine:
- From the center to the outside, Inject the brine evenly all over the ham
Step 4: Making the Crust and Baking the Ham
To make the crust you will need these ingredients:
- Brown sugar
Pre-Heat the Oven:
Set the temperature somewhere within 325F to 350F, or 162C to 176.6C, then wait 10 minutes for the oven to pre-heat
Make the Crust:
- Mix 1/2 cup of brown sugar and 1/4 cup of salt
- Rub the mixture over the outside of the ham
Bake the Ham
- Layer the baking dish with tinfoil
- If you have a baking rack place the ham on it at this point
- Place the ham in the center of the oven
Set the Timer:
- Set the time to match a pound per hour
- 1 pound ham will equal 1 hour in the oven
- Remove the ham to check the ham's temperature at 60 minutes
- Ham's internal temperature should meet or exceed 140 Fahrenheit or 60 Celsius
- If ham does not meet or exceed 140 Fahrenheit, place it back in the oven for another 10 to 15 minutes
Step 5: Glazing the Ham
To make the glaze you will need these ingredients:
- Dijon mustard
- Optional, brown sugar
- Optional, bay leaf
Make The Glaze:
- Add rum to pot
- Bring rum to a boil
- Add stick of butter and 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
- Mix together
- Optional, add a bay leaf for flavor
- Optional, for a more solid consistency add brown sugar
Apply The Glaze:
- Pull the ham from the oven while leaving the oven on
- Apply the glaze (brush or spoon option)
- Brush option:
- Dip the brush into the glaze
- Brush the glaze onto the ham
- Brush option:
- Coat portions of the ham with the spoon
- Repeat until ham is covered
- Don't Throw Out the Glaze Just yet: Leftover glaze can be used for the side dish or ham slices
Step 6: Ready to Serve!
After the 10-15 minutes have passed you should be pulling the ham from the oven. All you have to do now is decide what will best complement the ham.
The two pictures in this section are my recommendations as sides, mashed potatoes and green beans (with bacon).
Do you have any suggestions? Feel free to leave a suggestion in the comments below.
Good luck with your rum ham!