Is there anything better than a holiday ham? Surprisingly, yes! Enjoy our whole ham recipe and practice cooking with wine. Happy Holidays!
We’ve taken this classic holiday ham recipe and turned up the flavor with a mouthwatering red wine glaze. We’re talking about seasonal spices like ginger and nutmeg, bright citrus flavors like pineapple, and the rich complexity of our popular Pinot Noir Terre Siciliane. Cooking with wine has never been more delicious!
If you’ve never cooked a bone-in whole ham, it can be a bit daunting. While you might not need to order your ham straight from the butcher, you’ll need to set aside roughly three hours to cook this beast.
Fine, okay. You CAN spend some of that time sampling your favorite wines. Just make sure to set timers and tell your holiday guests to arrive RIGHT when you pull it out of the oven. Then you can simply carve, serve, and enjoy!
Need to brush up on your Wine Terminology? Click here to use our glossary!
The Basics of Cooking With Wine
If the thought of attempting a recipe that includes wine seems a bit overwhelming, you’re not alone. At one point or another, we’ve all looked at a complicated recipe and just decided to drink the wine instead (no judgment). While it may seem like a skill best left to the professionals, the truth is that cooking with wine is surprisingly easy.
If you want all the ins and outs of cooking with wine, make sure to read our blog about it here. However, if you’ve got a can-do attitude and a sense of adventure, here’s a short list of tips to help you master the art of cooking with wine…
- Avoid “cooking wines” and only cook with wines you enjoy drinking.
- Unless the recipe requests a splash of wine towards the end, it’s best to add your wine earlier so there’s enough time to cook out the alcohol.
- If the recipe does tell you to add a splash of wine at the end, use a wine that you already enjoy. Since you’ll be tasting it more prominently, it should be delicious.
- If the recipe doesn’t specify what type of wine to use, opt for younger wines that are dry and have fruit-forward flavors.
Obviously, there’s a lot more to learn about cooking with wine. However, these tips will help you get by with most simple recipes.
Cooking with Wine | Pinot Noir
Speaking of wine, let’s talk about the wine we’ve chosen for this particular recipe. We opted for our Pinot Noir Terre Siciliane because it pairs oh so perfectly with the savory sweetness of ham!
This dark dry red wine is medium-bodied with fruity aromas and a velvet finish. Plus, notes of cherries and raspberries are softened by the delicate aroma of vanilla. Honestly, we don’t blame you if you end up drinking a glass (or two) while you’re cooking.
Just make sure to save half a cup for the actual recipe 😉
Whole Ham Glazed with Red Wine and Spices
This recipe serves roughly six to eight people, so it’s a phenomenal main dish for any holiday party. While the prep time only takes about fifteen minutes (phew!), the actual cooking time can run three hours long (woof!).
That being said, we recommend gathering your ingredients the day before so you don’t have to spend all day shopping and cooking before your guests arrive. Plus, that makes it a lot easier to wrap up any last-minute party preparations while it’s in the oven.
One thing to be aware of with this recipe is the sugar content. While ham by itself is fine on a low-carb diet, some of the other ingredients add sugar to this recipe. Basically, feel free to make any low-carb swaps or adjustments you like! We’re a fan of indulging a bit around the holidays, but indulging is a LOT easier when your food is already low-sugar and low-carb.
Luckily, our low-carb wine isn’t one of the items you’ll want to swap.
- A 15 pound fully cooked bone-in whole ham
- Half a cup of honey
- Half a cup of dry red wine
- A quarter cup of pineapple juice
- Two tablespoons of butter
- One tablespoon of Dijon mustard
- One and a half teaspoons of ground black pepper
- One teaspoon of ground nutmeg
- Half a teaspoon of ground cloves
- Half a teaspoon of ground ginger
- One tablespoon of
- A quarter cup of whole cloves (optional)
Preheat your oven to 325°F while you prepare the ham. You’ll want to place it fat side up in a roasting pan (the kind with a grate so it’s not directly touching the pan). Pour two cups of water into the bottom of the pan then tightly cover the entire thing with foil
Once your oven is up to temperature, gently place the pan in the oven and roast it for two hours. Check it every thirty minutes or so and add water if necessary.
Roughly thirty minutes before the two-hour mark it’ll be time to start your glaze. Using a small saucepan, gently combine your red wine, honey, pineapple juice, butter, and spices (set the whole cloves aside for later).
Stir over medium heat until your butter is melted and then stir in your dijon mustard. If you want to cook out more of the alcohol, cook it for slightly longer. If you don’t mind the alcohol, simply cook it until the butter is melted.
Remove the ham after the two-hour mark. If your whole ham still has the skin on, gently remove it with a sharp knife. It will be HOT, so you may want to invest in a good pair of cooking gloves. We highly recommend keeping the skin and using it for soups or ham broth!
To help the glaze really penetrate the ham, go ahead and remove roughly a quarter of an inch of the fat layer (this could also be saved for other purposes!). Afterward, score the ham diagonally in one direction, and then diagonally in the other direction. You should end up with a diamond pattern once finished.
Brush the ham with your spiced red wine glaze and make sure it’s completely covered. Then take your whole cloves and push one into each spot where your score lines meet. This is optional, but it looks great and adds an additional layer of aroma that just screams HOLIDAYS.
Finally, slide your ham back into the oven (uncovered) and cook for an additional forty-five to sixty minutes. Keep it nice and juicy by brushing more glaze on it every twenty minutes or so. Once an internal meat thermometer says 140°F, remove it from the oven, place it on a cutting board, cover it with foil, and let it rest for fifteen minutes.
After that, it’s time to carve it up, plate each serving, and enjoy!
Say Happy Holidays by Cooking with Wine!
We highly recommend serving this dish with sides that provide complementary flavors. Since the ham has a good amount of sweetness, sides like Brussel sprouts, cheesy scalloped potatoes, or even roasted asparagus would be delicious. Plus, don’t forget to serve it with your favorite glass of SECCO wine!
We hope you enjoyed this recipe and that it helped you bring together your friends, family, or community! Don’t forget to stock up on all your favorite cooking and drinking wines, and definitely tag us when you post that perfect food picture on your Instagram. We’re all about community, so we’d love for you to be part of ours!