Ham is a cut of meat that comes from a hog’s hind thigh. Most American hams are soaked or injected with brine, and then boiled or smoked to complete the cooking. Ham’s salty flavor, derived from the infusion of brine, is often paired with honey or some other sweet glaze. One variant is the brown-sugar and Coke glaze. A spiced brown-sugar crust creates a crunchy outer coating.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Wash the ham. Remove the skin if you wish. Place the ham into a roasting pan. Pour Coke over the ham until there is about an inch of Coke in the bottom of the pan.
Cover the pan and place it in the oven. Allow 15 minutes of baking time for every lb. of ham.
Every 15 minutes, baste the ham with the Coke. To avoid scorching and enhance the moistness of the ham, add more Coke as needed as the liquid evaporates.
Combine bread crumbs, brown sugar, dried mustard and pepper in a medium bowl.
Remove the ham from the oven after it has cooked for 15 minutes per lb. Carefully press the crumb mixture onto the outer skin of the ham. It’s OK if some of the mixture falls into the Coke broth.
Put the ham back into the oven, leaving the roaster uncovered. Cook the ham for an additional 30 to 40 minutes, until the coating is a golden brown. Continue to add Coke to the pan as needed.
Remove the ham from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes before you remove it from the pan.
Stir the liquid in the roaster well, mixing in any crumb coating that fell into the Coke broth. Pour the sauce into a gravy boat and serve it on the side.
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Jon Williams is a clinical psychologist and freelance writer. He has performed, presented and published research on a variety of psychological and physical health issues.