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Holiday Cola Baked Ham

Holiday Cola Baked HamWe can thank innovative Southern cooks for incorporating a popular soft drink into traditional holiday fare. Unusual combination of ingredients or not, the end result of this recipe is one of the tastiest hams ever.

Recipe Ingredients:

1 (10 to 12 pound) bone-in ham
Whole cloves, as needed
1 (1-pound) box dark brown sugar
1 (12-ounce) can cola-flavored carbonated beverage (not diet)
1 (14-ounce) can pineapple rings, drained and the juice reserved
1 cup sweet concord grape wine
10 to 12 maraschino cherries

Cooking Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C).
  2. Using a sharp knife, remove the rind from ham. Score surface of ham crosswise and lengthwise, forming a crisscross pattern about 1/4-inch deep and 1-inch apart. Place 1 clove in the center of each square.
  3. Place ham, fat side up, in a roasting pan. Press brown sugar onto the surface of the ham. Expect some sugar to fall into the roasting pan.
  4. Place in oven and bake until brown sugar just begins to melt, about 30 minutes.
  5. Pour the cola over ham, mixing with melted sugar in bottom of roasting pan. Baste ham with the cola mixture and bake an additional 30 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, combine reserved pineapple juice and the wine in a small bowl. Baste ham with pineapple mixture every 20 minutes.
  7. Bake ham for a total of 16 minutes per pound. During the last 20 minutes of baking time, remove ham from oven and decorate with the pineapple rings. Use 2 to 3 wooden picks to hold each ring in place. Place a cherry in the center of each ring, also using a wooden pick. Return to oven and continue to bake the final 20 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven and allow to stand for at least 15 minutes before transferring to serving platter.
  9. Skim excess fat from pan juices and serve with the ham.

Makes about 24 to 28 servings.

Nutritional Information Per Serving (2 tablespoons): 33.8 calories; 79% calories from fat; 3.0g total fat; 6.6mg cholesterol; 33.4mg sodium; 40.2mg potassium; 1.1g carbohydrates; 0.1g fiber; 0.3g sugar; 1.0g net carbs; 0.8g protein.

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