It’s the holidays, and each year, we vary between a turkey or a ham, and this year, we are cooking my orange-braised ham at the request of my five year old…

A ham glistening with spicy orange glaze makes a deceptively dramatic dish, especially considering how simple it is to prepare.

What you need

  • 1 cured ham from the shank end, 7 to 8 lb.
  • 1 Tbs. grated orange zest
  • 2 cups fresh orange juice
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick, 3 inches long, broken in half
  • 6 cloves
  • 6 peppercorns

How to make it

  1. Using a large, sharp knife, remove the skin from the ham if necessary and shave away all but a 1/2-inch layer of the fat.
  2. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the orange zest, orange juice, brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves and peppercorns. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture is thick and syrupy, about 15 minutes. Set aside.
  3. Place the ham, fat side up, in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.
  4. Pour the orange mixture over the ham, cover and cook until the juices in the cooker are bubbling and the top of the ham is glistening, about 2 hours more.
  5. Transfer the ham to a cutting board, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 15 minutes.
  6. Using a sharp knife and working against the grain, cut the ham into thin slices, arrange on a warmed platter and serve immediately.