Last year’s Easter Dinner included a Ham Gravy that was gone after the first pass around the table.
I never made a gravy from ham juices before 2011, but the one I did make is now on everyone’s request list. Here is how I make it.
I start with a half ham, shank portion…(does not really matter what cut the ham is)…
Score the outside surfaces about 3/8 to 1/2 inches deep in a criss-crossed pattern.
Cut a fresh pineapple into 1 inch thick chunks
about 1-1/2 inches by 1-1/2 inches
Fasten them to each square block of the scored ham with a tooth pick. I used about 16 to 20 tooth picks to cover all the outside exposed surfaces; (of course not where the ham was resting on the pan surface.)
I then fastened maraschino cherries in between the pineapple chunks using an entire 4 ounce bottle of cherries and about another 20 tooth picks.
Next I inserted clove stems everywhere possible using about 1/4 container of clove stems (about 28 pieces).
Next I poured about one liter of Vernor’s sugar sweetened Ginger Ale over the ham and baked it in a 325 degree oven for 3-1/2 hours. If you can’t find Vernor’s, add 1/4 teaspoon of dried ginger to a liter of any dry ginger ale.
The baking process yielded about 3 quarts of liquid with an aroma of ginger, cloves and of course ham. The secret seemed to be in what was done next.
Pour off the liquid, including scrapings into a large enough saucepan, and boil to reduce to thicker sweet syrupy mixture. Thicken more by using corn starch, food starch or your favorite thickener. You can add orange juice soaked raisins or cherries.
When poured over the top of ham, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes or squash, this ham gravy garnered many, many compliments.
Other side dishes: