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Grandma VG’s Easter Ham

This recipe is probably our most sought after and most popular. Customers are always asking us how to make it and last week, I had the privilege of making it from scratch with Grandma VG, herself. After making it and tasting it (and smelling it as it cooked in her house), I know that this will now be a part of my own Easter traditions.

I showed up at her home on a rainy Wednesday morning and was immediately welcomed in. She let Amber and I (our videographer and graphic designer) into her home and fed us delicious Boterkoek (Dutch Butter Cake) and coffee. We began filming our segment while a previously cooked ham sat roasting in oven, making the whole house smell like meat heaven.

The recipe! What you need:

  • 1 x 11-13 lb VG Meats Country Style ham (bone-in – trust me)
  • ½ L Apple juice or pineapple juice (Grandma VG swears by pineapple juice for this and will not waver!)
  • ½ L Ginger ale
  • Dry mustard (enough to rub around ham when combined with brown sugar)
  • Brown Sugar (enough to rub around ham when combined with dry mustard)
  • Cornstarch (enough to thicken juice into delicious gravy as desired)

What to do:

  1. First things first, you need to take the string off of your ham. This would otherwise cook into your ham and turn into meat floss – not tasty.
  2. Next, place your ham face-down in a big, deep roasting pan. You need it to hold the ham as well as be deep enough to hold the delicious liquid, which will eventually make your magic gravy (you will also call it magic once you taste it).
  3. Cover the outside of the ham with dry mustard. You need quite a bit – about a whole tin’s worth for this size – and be sure to pat it in.
  4. Next, cover the same area (the whole outside of the ham) with brown sugar, also being sure to pat it in.
  5. Now is the time to pour in your juice – apple or pineapple, your choice – right into the bottom of your dish.Finally, pour in your ginger ale. You should have a nice ham bath happening right about now.
  6. Cover your ham and pan with foil and place in a 350 °F oven for 3 – 5 hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 155 °F. Be sure to adjust your time if you have a smaller ham.
  7. During the last hour or so, be sure to keep basting your ham with the juices every 15 minutes for maximum flavour and tenderness. You should also take your foil off intermittently to allow the ham to crisp up and brown on the edges.

Now, the magic. Remove your ham and place aside to rest and cool slightly before slicing. Pour the tasty ham-filled liquid from the bottom of the roasting dish into a deep pan or sauce pot and bring to a simmer. Once simmering, add cornstarch to thicken and create a delicious gravy. Grandma VG added about 3 tbsp. of cornstarch.

We were lucky enough to have Dad VG (Wayne) come by for lunch and to carve our ham, making sure to reserve the bone for future soup-making. We ate the finished version of the ham, which Dorothy had made earlier that morning, for lunch with mashed potatoes, carrots and of course, magic gravy.

And now, if you’re like me, you are definitely craving ham and magic gravy. In that case, I have Very Good news! At VG you can order our Grandma VG’s Ham Basket which comes with everything you need to make this at home, including the recipe card. You can either order this in store or online here.

Happy Easter and as always, Happy MEATing!