CS,B: When I was in college I met a student whose great-great-grandad invented root beer. Pharmacist by the name of Charles E. Hires. If you happen to bump into him, tell him I said thanks.
- 10- to 12-lb. fully cooked bone-in spiral cut ham
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 1⁄2 cup mustard
- 1 16-oz. bottle of root beer
- 3 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
First and foremost:
- Do: Get a good root beer, one that’s actually brewed (A&W, Hires, IBC, Henry Weinhard’s, etc.). If you try glazing your ham with Shasta or Refreshé or some other horrible brand, someone needs to take your ham away until you prove you can be a responsible ham owner.
- Don’t: Get a diet root beer. This is a glaze, not food coloring!
Preheat oven to 325°. Place ham in roasting pan, cover with foil and bake at 325°.
While the ham’s getting up to speed, put the root beer in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
When you’re boiling root beer (or beer or Dr Pepper or any other carbonated beverage), be advised: It can go from “Okay, it’s starting to simmer now” to “Aw SHIT; it boiled all over everything!” faster than you can blink. The only thing worse than cleaning sticky root beer off of everything is cleaning screaming hot root beer off of everything.
Bottom line: Treat hot carbonated beverages like nitroglycerin until you’ve driven out all the carbonation. Heat it slowly and gently, and don’t turn your back on it until it’s simmering like a normal, well-behaved liquid and not leaping out of the saucepan like a chest-bursting alien.
MASTER THE ROOT BEER YOU HAVE!
Now that you’ve tamed your root beer, add the brown sugar, mustard and vinegar; whisk until the brown sugar is completely dissolved and bring to a boil again.
Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring frequently (it’ll burn almost as fast as it can boil over), until reduced to a glaze; usually about 30 minutes. When the glaze sheets across the back of a spoon, it’s ready.
Once the ham’s been in the oven for about 90 minutes, take the foil off and brush on some glaze. Put it back in the oven, uncovered, and glaze it again every 15 minutes or so until done.
Cover with foil and let it rest 15 minutes before serving.