By Mark Steele, Executive Chef, Algonquin College Food & Beverage Services
Anyone who knows my cooking style can attest that I’m a huge fan of maple syrup. I’m lucky if a litre lasts more than a couple weeks at my house, between the Sunday morning pancakes and everything else I add it to. I will often use maple syrup in soup, salad dressings, and as a glaze for all kinds of meat and even some seafood.
This is the best time of year to experience maple syrup right in its natural habitat: the cabane à sucre. There are hundreds of these rustic “sugar cabins” littered across Quebec, which is the world’s number one producer of maple syrup. It’s hard to believe it takes about 40 litres of sap to make one litre of pure maple syrup. Little wonder it’s pricey, but in my opinion, worth every penny.
I decided to prepare a Maple and Honey-Glazed Ham for my family on Easter Sunday. The maple and ham combination is a no-brainer. The recipe below infuses the meat with the deliciousness of maple, honey and savory spices.
And perhaps the best thing about this dish, is that was a perfect segue to my Easter Monday menu, which featured Newfoundland-style Split Pea Soup; you can use the ham bone to make a stock and add your leftover meat for the soup.
The recipe is as follows:
1 5lb Smoked Cooked Ham
1/4 C Brown Sugar
3/4 C Honey
3/4 C Maple Syrup
2/3 C Butter
1 tbsp Whole Cloves
1. Preheat Oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit
2. Score Ham using a knife by making shallow slices in a diamond pattern about 1 inch apart then stud ham with whole cloves.
3. Add butter, brown sugar, honey & maple syrup in a small sauce pan and melt over low heat ( You will want to keep the glaze warm for easy basting).
4. Baste ham with glaze then place on foil lined pan and place in oven (foil is important for easy cleaning, trust me I made this mistake only once).
5. Continue to baste ham every 15-20 minutes.
6. Once ham has cooked for 1 hour 20 minutes it is ready, at this point you can caramelize the glaze on the ham by using a torch or broiling in the oven for a few extra minutes.
Mark Steele / Executive Chef
Food & Beverage Operations / Algonquin College
Tel 613-727-4723 ext 7260 / Fax 613-727-7735