Turkey might be a Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner essential for many families, but for some, ham takes center stage. That certainly rings true for Joshua Brown, executive chef and director of operations of one-Michelin-starred restaurant Cut at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.
“My mom would usually prepare a smoked honey-baked ham, and she always made fudge which was one of my favorite things to help her make for Christmas,” says the American chef.
It’s the season of warmth and family gatherings, and one of Brown’s fondest memories was going to his grandmother’s house.
“The night before Christmas we would drive around passing out all the cookies and fudge my mom had made to family and friends,” he recalls. “Our last stop was always my Grandma Dee’s house where we would meet up with our cousins and open our gifts. I looked forward to going to her house—she always had a really nice Christmas tree and the whole house was lit up with lights.”
Year after year, that feeling of warmth and family is recreated in Brown’s kitchen in Singapore.
Here, he shares his mother’s recipe.
Courtesy of Joshua Brown, Executive Chef/Director of Operations of Cut and Spago, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore
Smoked Honey-Baked Ham
Raw ham leg (cold-smoked, if possible)
4 cups honey
3 cups maple syrup
1 cup maple sugar
½ cup sherry vinegar
1. The night before cooking, unwrap the ham and place it in the refrigerator to dry the outside.
2. Preheat oven to 300˚F; remove the ham from the refrigerator and place on a roasting pan; bake for five hours or until an instant-read thermometer registers 155˚F when inserted into the middle of the ham, making sure to collect the drippings as it cooks.
3. Meanwhile, prepare the glaze: mix the honey, maple syrup and maple sugar in a sauce pan. Raise heat to medium and whisk until the sugar has dissolved. Add the sherry vinegar and ham drippings.
4. Place the pineapple rings on a baking sheet and transfer to the oven to roast.
5. During the final hour, stud the ham with some cloves and baste with the ham glaze.
6. To serve, place the ham on a large serving dish and garnish with roasted pineapple rings.