A holiday ham worth celebrating

Family Features

Cooks today crave new food inspiration, creative recipes and flavorful dishes, and they want it all at a great price. Whether you’re trying one of the year's hottest cooking trends or serving up a spread for a holiday celebration, pork offers an affordable variety of cuts and flavor profiles to help inspire every occasion.

Honey balsamic ham with smashed potatoes

This season, the National Pork Board is teaming up with leading chefs from across the country – Matt Abdoo, Adam Sappington and Jose Mendin – to discover their favorite pork dishes, the techniques behind them and how pork inspires their creativity in the kitchen.

Chef Mendin is a five-time James Beard semi-finalist and founding partner and chef at Pubbelly Noodle Bar, an Asian-inspired gastropub in Miami. In his Honey Balsamic-Glazed Ham recipe, pineapple combines with honey and balsamic vinegar for a flavorful centerpiece that's easily paired with smashed potatoes.

Visit PorkBeinspired.com for more pork cooking inspiration this holiday season.

Honey Balsamic-Glazed Ham with Smashed Potatoes

Recipe courtesy of Jose Mendin, Pubbelly Noodle Bar, on behalf of the National Pork Board

1          3-lb. boneless ham, netting removed and casing trimmed off

1/2       c. water

Honey Balsamic Glaze:

1          can (8 oz.) crushed pineapple (2/3 c. pineapple, 1/3 c. juice)

1/2       c. honey

1/2       c. balsamic vinegar

2          T. unsalted butter

2          T. soy sauce

1/2       tsp. finely chopped fresh thyme (or 1/4 tsp. dried thyme)

1/2       tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Smashed Potatoes:

3          lbs. small red potatoes, scrubbed but unpeeled

3          T. unsalted butter

2          T. extra-virgin olive oil

1 1/2    tsp. kosher salt

1/4       tsp. freshly ground black pepper

2          T. fresh parsley (or 1 1/2 tsp. dried parsley)

Make the Honey Balsamic Glaze: In a small heavy saucepan, bring ingredients to a boil over high heat, stirring often. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring often, until the liquid is reduced by about half, 7-10 minutes. Transfer to small bowl and let cool to room temperature.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Using a sharp knife, score ham in a crosshatch pattern. Place ham in roasting pan and add 1/2 c. water. Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and spread half of the glaze over the ham, forcing it into the scored cuts. Bake for 15 minutes.

Repeat with remaining glaze and bake until a meat thermometer inserted into the center of the ham reads 140 F, about 15 minutes more. If necessary, to keep glaze from scorching, tent ham with aluminum foil. Let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes before slicing.

Make the Smashed Potatoes: After about 30 minutes of baking the ham, place potatoes in large saucepan and add enough cold, salted water to cover by 2 inches. Cover saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Uncover and reduce heat to medium. Cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain well and return potatoes to saucepan. Add butter, oil, salt and pepper, and crush with a large fork then stir in the parsley. Partially cover with the lid to keep warm.

Slice the ham crosswise and serve with the smashed potatoes.  Serves 8.