Our make ahead Holiday Ham with Cranberry-Orange Glaze might just be the easiest main dish you’ve ever prepared for a crowd. Serve it up with some Cranberry Wine (yum!) and our go-to holiday side dishes, and you’ve got the start of a table tradition for years to come.
Disclaimer: This post is created in partnership with St. James Winery and Burgers’ Smokehouse.
You guys, seriously. This ham recipe is a complete no-brainer and will result in a holiday centerpiece entree you can be proud of.
Here’s how it works…while your fully cooked ham warms up in the oven, you’ll whip up a simple tangy-sweet cranberry sauce in just minutes on the stove top.
Forget the jiggly canned cranberry sauce you remember as a kid. This sauce is fresh, tasty, and gorgeous. It will be used as both a glaze that gets caramelized on top of the ham and as a lick-your-plate-clean relish on the side.
See? You’re getting a 2-for-1 deal here!
It’s hard to beat the flavors going on in the Burgers’ Smokehouse Hickory Smoked Ham that we used. This ham can stand on its own proudly. It’s brine-cured and then aged and slow smoked over real hickory wood. Our families couldn’t get enough! Order it online to have it delivered to your door or grab one at Hy-Vee this holiday season.
But–oh boy–the cranberry, orange, and rosemary flavors in the glaze magically work together to create a “wow” finish to this dish.
Serve the ham alongside the festive, sweet, and slightly tart St. James Cranberry Wine, which is featured in the glaze, for a perfect holiday combo. You can order this affordable wine online to have it delivered to your door or grab a few bottles at Hy-Vee.
Bottom line here. PLEASE don’t be tempted to think this holiday entree is beyond something you can make. It’s one of the simplest holiday spreads you can ever throw together. Let’s review the facts…
Fact #1: The ham is ready to eat or ready to heat. Burgers’ Smokehouse has already done all the hard work for you, even pre-slicing it. Did you know it takes them about a WEEK to make it?
Fact #2: The sauce practically makes itself.
Fact #3: The St. James Cranberry Wine will please everyone at the table. It is a highly-awarded wine, including two double golds and two contests where it scored over 90 points in 2018 alone. This top selling seasonal wine has become a holiday tradition for many homes.
Fact #4: We’ve even made the side dishes easy for you. No planning involved! Make Autumn Chopped Salad…
…and Ultimate Bacon and Cheddar Twice-Baked Potatoes and you’re done. Boom! Just like that!
Fact #5: We even included directions for preparing this meal ahead of time and freezing it until you’re ready to throw it in the oven. That way, you can really enjoy your special time with family and friends.
Tis’ the season for good food, friends, and family around the table. Organize your people and invite them over now. YOU.CAN.DO.THIS.
Here is a quick look at how the recipe comes together:
This make-ahead holiday ham might just be the easiest main dish you’ve ever prepared for a crowd. Serve it up with some Cranberry Wine (yum!!) and our go-to holiday side dishes, and you’ve got the start of a table tradition for years to come.
- 12-ounce bag of fresh cranberries, rinsed and sorted
- ¼ cup St. James Cranberry Wine (order online or buy at Hy-Vee)
- ¼ cup water
- 1 cup brown sugar
- Zest of 1 medium orange (about 1 teaspoon)
- Juice of 1 medium orange (about 2 tablespoons)
- 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, minced (about 2 teaspoon)
- Pinch of Kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 1 (8 ½ – 9 ½ lb) Burgers’ Smokehouse Hickory Smoked Ham (order online or buy at Hy-Vee)
- For garnish: fresh cranberries, orange slices, and rosemary sprigs
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove the ham from the fridge 45 minutes before heating. Place in a roasting pan or large baking dish with the cut surface down. Cover with foil and bake until warmed through, for approximately an hour. (Do not overcook. It’s completely cooked through already, so it’s safe to eat cold or warmed up!)
- Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine the cranberries, wine, water, brown sugar, orange zest and juice, rosemary, and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries have popped and the mixture has thickened, about 5 to 10 minutes.
- Once the ham is done heating up, preheat the broiler and adjust the top rack so that the ham will be about 6 inches from the top heating element. Remove the foil and brush the ham with a generous coat of the cranberry glaze/sauce. Broil for about 4-5 minutes, until caramelized. (Watch closely, so it doesn’t burn.)
- Cover with foil again and let ham rest for 15 minutes before serving, so juices can redistribute throughout.
- To slice and serve: Place ham on cutting board with fat side up. Slide thin bladed knife around the center bone to release. Make a knife cut starting at the center bone and cut towards the outer surface of the ham allowing slices to fall away. Lay out slices on serving platter. Garnish with fresh cranberries, orange slices, and rosemary sprigs. Serve the remaining cranberry sauce on the side.
Freeze For Later: Complete Step 2. Let sauce cool completely. Seal tightly in a freezer container and freeze along with the pre-packaged ham for up to 6 months. Prepare From Frozen: Thaw the sauce and ham. (Ham will take 2-3 days to fully thaw in the refrigerator, so plan ahead.) Cook according to directions above, only warming the sauce in Step 2 since it’s already made.