Coca-Cola Ham is a holiday classic at our place. Which holiday? All of them! Usually Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter, but this is the way we usually eat ham, any occasion will do!
I first learned about this recipe from Nigella Lawson on her TV series Nigella Bites, which is just a variation of an American way of making ham (with clever marketing). I admit I was skeptical at first, Coca-Cola Ham? How does that work? I assure you it doesn’t taste at all like Coke, but adds a subtle sweetness to the ham and keeps it nice and moist. Maybe it’s just the onion that throws you off the flavour of Coke, but whatever the reason, this recipe works perfectly.
Nigella uses a glaze with mustard powder and molasses, and it looks beautiful, but we never fussed with that part. We usually just crisp the skin in the oven and serve it with a delicious sauce my wife makes. Sometimes my wife makes a Bourbon Maple Glaze, but really you can baste it with anything if you like.
The hero of this dish is the Spicy Sweet Mustard Sauce. Take sweetened condensed milk and mix with Hot English mustard, creating a super sweet hot sauce with a mustard kick – the type that wasabi provides.
This sauce is perfect with ham, but don’t use regular American mustard, that wouldn’t work. It must be Hot English mustard, which works really well with ham. After all, this isn’t a hot dog, this is just a variation building on that taste tradition. We don’t miss a Christmas or even Easter without Coca-Cola Ham. Bon Appetit! Приятного аппетита!
- 2 litres of Coca-Cola soft drink
- 1 onion, peeled and cut in half
- 2 kg bone-in ham (I usualy use a ham shoulder)
- Sweet Mustard Ham Sauce
- 1 400g/14oz can sweetened condensed milk
- 4 teaspoons Hot English Mustard
- In a large pot or dutch oven, place the ham, onion and pour the Coca-Cola over top of the ham.
- Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer for approx 1 hour per kilo (2 pounds) of ham. Cover loosely with a lid. I rotate the ham so it's even cooked in the cola.
- Optional step that I don't usually do, I just skip to step 4. Score the ham in a diagonial pattern, places whole cloves in each diamond. Glaze with 1 tablespoon molasses, then sprinkle 2 teaspoons English mustard powder and 2 tablespoons brown sugar overtop of the ham so it sticks to the molasses.
- I just bake the ham for 10 minutes at 175°C/350°F so the skin crisps up.
- Mix together the sweetened condensed milk and hot English mustard together, until the mustard is mixed evenly and not lumpy. Taste. If it's doesn't have enough mustard kick, add another teaspoon. I suggest by starting with 2 teaspoons of Hot English mustard, mixing with the sweetened condensed milk, and adjusting by your taste. Hot English mustard has the same nasally kick that wasabi provides to your nostrils, so be sure to taste! Enjoy!