HAM­MING IT UP FOR GREY CUP

A tasty bun­wich with some home­made side dishes will serve foot­ball fans well this weekend

Calgary Herald - Calgary Herald New Condos - - Weekend Life - ERIC AKIS

The Grey Cup takes place Sun­day and many foot­ball fans will have friends over to watch the game. If you are plan­ning to do that and have not yet strate­gized what you’ll feed your sure-to-be-hun­gry-group, add this meal idea to your play­book.

I’ve come up with a very tasty, hearty and not-too-dif­fi­cult-to-pre­pare bun­wich you could serve. The star of this hand-held meal is suc­cu­lent baked ham and uses a prod­uct sold at most su­per­mar­kets. Ham comes from the back leg of the pig and of­ten is cut into the shank por­tion, the lower part of the leg, and the hip or butt por­tion, the up­per part of the leg. You can use ei­ther for to­day’s recipe, but I find the shank por­tion is eas­ier to carve.

Th­ese hams are sold fully cooked and all you have to do is heat them up. While do­ing that, in the last half of the bak­ing process, I brushed the ham with a root-beer glaze giv­ing the smoky ham a sweet and spicy taste bal­anced by tart cider vine­gar and other ac­cents.

Once baked, the ham de­vel­ops a lovely, sticky crust and when sliced and piled into buns, tastes di­vine, com­ple­mented by a cou- ple of condi­ments.

One was a quick-to-make may­on­naise flavoured with Di­jon, honey and a touch of gar­lic. I felt I needed some­thing to slather on the buns be­fore set­ting in the ham.

My other condi­ment was overnight-pick­led red cab­bage. The re­sult­ing pickle is a crisp, sweet and sour, stun­ningly pur­ple/red condi­ment. Mound it on top of the ham in the bun­wich and it will pair nicely with the salty, smoky taste of the meat.

I felt my bun­wiches needed at least one side dish: creamy po­tato salad. I used a mix of dif­fer­ent coloured minia­ture new pota­toes. That gave the salad a lit­tle more life visu­ally.

The ham should yield 12 to 16 bun­wiches.

Root Beer Glazed Baked

Ham Bun­wiches

Root beer an­chors the glaze that coats the smoky ham as it bakes. Prepa­ra­tion time: 15 min­utes Cook­ing time: 2 hours Makes: 12 to 16 bun­wiches 7 to 8 lb (3 to 3.6 kg) shank or butt por­tion ham

1 1/2 cups (375 mL) root beer 1/2 cup (125 mL) chili sauce (see Note) 1/4 cup (60 mL) golden brown su­gar

2 tbsp (30 mL) cider vine­gar

1 tbsp (15 mL) corn­starch 1 tbsp (15 mL) Worces­ter­shire sauce Hot pep­per sauce to taste 12 to 16 crusty ham­burger or kaiser buns, split and warmed Di­jon Honey Mayo, to taste (see recipe) 2 cups (500 mL) shred­ded head or leaf let­tuce, or to taste Overnight Pick­led Red Cab­bage, to taste (see recipe)

Pre­heat the oven 325 F (160 C). Trim the ham of any tough outer skin. Use a sharp knife to score the top and sides of the ham in a di­a­mond pat­tern, mak­ing shal­low, criss-cross­ing cuts about 1 1/2 in (3.8 cm) apart.

Set the ham in a shal­low-sided roast­ing pan. Bake the ham, uncovered, 60 min­utes.

Mean­while, make glaze by plac­ing the root beer, chili sauce, su­gar, vine­gar, corn­starch, Worces­ter­shire and hot pep­per sauce in a small pot. Whisk well to com­bine. Bring mix­ture to a sim­mer over medium-high heat. Sim­mer 1 minute, un­til lightly thick­ened, and then re­move from the heat and re­serve un­til needed.

When the ham has baked 60 min­utes, baste the top, front and sides with 1/2 cup (125 mL) of the glaze. Bake ham 20 min­utes more. Baste with 1/2 cup (125 mL) more of the glaze and bake another 20 min­utes. Baste with 1/2 cup (125 mL) more glaze and bake 20 min­utes more, or un­til the ham is richly coloured and pip­ing hot in the cen­tre.

Trans­fer the ham to a serv­ing plat­ter, tent with foil, rest 15 min­utes, and then slice and ar­range on a serv­ing plat­ter. Warm re­main­ing root beer glaze and driz­zle over ham. Al­low your guests to make their own bun­wiches, pil­ing the meat into the buns and ac­cent­ing it with the Di­jon honey mayo, let­tuce and pick­led cab­bage.

Note: The chili sauce used in this recipe is the sweet and tangy kind made by com­pa­nies such as Heinz. You’ll find it in the aisle ketchup is sold.

Overnight Pick­led

Red Cab­bage

This crisp, sweet and sour cab­bage needs an overnight soak in the re­frig­er­a­tor to de­velop its flavour. It pairs nicely with the salty, smoky taste of the ham.

Prepa­ra­tion time: 10 min­utes, plus soak­ing time Cook­ing time: A few min­utes Makes: About 12 to 16 condi­ment-sized serv­ings 6 cups (1.5 l) thinly shred­ded red cab­bage (about 1/2 small to medium head) 1 cup (250 mL) cider vine­gar 1/2 cup (125 mL) ap­ple juice 1/2 cup (125 mL) packed golden brown su­gar 3 tbsp (45 mL) whole grain Di­jon mus­tard 1 tbsp (15 mL) salt

1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) dried thyme

Pack cab­bage in a tall jar or nar­row, tall bowl. Place the vine­gar, ap­ple juice, su­gar, mus­tard, salt and thyme in a small pot and bring to a boil. Boil 1 minute, or un­til su­gar is dis­solved. Pour mix­ture over cab­bage. Push on cab­bage with the tip of spoon to en­sure the vine­gar mix­ture sub­merges it. Cool cab­bage to room tem­per­a­ture. Cover, re­frig­er­ate and let cab­bage soak in the brine overnight. En­joy the next day with the ham.

Di­jon Honey Mayo

Here’s an easy-to-make, flavoured may­on­naise that goes great with the ham. Prepa­ra­tion time: 5 min­utes Cook­ing time: None Makes: About 1 1/4 cups (310 mL) 1 cup (125 mL) may­on­naise 2 tbsp (30 mL) Di­jon mus­tard 2 tbsp (30 mL) honey

1 small gar­lic clove, minced 1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) pa­prika

Com­bine all in­gre­di­ents in a bowl or jar. Cover and re­frig­er­ate mayo un­til needed. Can be made many hours in ad­vance of us­ing.

Creamy Mixed Minia­ture Po­tato Salad

The minia­ture — about one- to two-in (2.5- to 5-cm) round — new pota­toes are avail­able at most su­per­mar­kets. Use a mix of them in this creamy ver­sion of po­tato salad flavoured with tangy mus­tard, and flecked with bits of veg­eta­bles and hard-cooked egg. Prepa­ra­tion time: 10 min­utes Cook­ing time: About 20 min­utes Makes: 12 serv­ings 3 lb (1.5 kg) minia­ture new pota­toes

2/3 cup (160 mL) may­on­naise

1/4 cup (60 mL) sour cream

3 tbsp (45 mL) cider vine­gar

2 tbsp (30 mL) Di­jon mus­tard

2 cel­ery ribs, finely chopped

1/2 cup (125 mL) grated car­rot 4 green onions, thinly sliced Salt and freshly ground black pep­per to taste Splashes of Worces­ter­shire and hot pep­per sauce, such as Tabasco 3 large hard-boiled eggs, cooled and chopped

Wash pota­toes well, but do not peel. Cut pota­toes into quar­ters and then place in a pot. Cover with cold wa­ter. Boil un­til just ten­der, but still hold­ing their shape, about 10 to 12 min­utes. Drain well, place in a bowl and cool to room tem­per­a­ture.

Now mix in the re­main­ing in­gre­di­ents, re­serv­ing a few of the green onions for sprin­kling on the salad just be­fore serv­ing. Cover and re­frig­er­ate salad un­til needed. Salad can be made a few hours be­fore needed. When ready to serve, sprin­kle with re­main­ing green onions and en­joy.

ERIC AKIS IS THE AU­THOR OF THE HARD­COVER BOOK EV­ERY­ONE CAN COOK

EV­ERY­THING.

Vic­to­ria Times Colonist

This smoky ham gets its sweet and spicy taste partly from a root beer­based glaze.

Adrian Lam/Vic­to­ria Times Colonist

Suc­cu­lent, root beer glazed ham piled in buns with pick­led red cab­bage and a flavoured mayo make for a de­cent game meal.

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