My Christmas dinner guests suggested a Honey Baked Ham, something I'm not thrilled with.
But maybe a wine will help?
Problem -- I have no idea which wine would do the job, as I don't eat Honey Baked all that much. -- (Beaujolais? I'm guessing here)
I've serving 20 adults. Something reasonably priced would be nice.
Also, does anyone have any ideas how to dress up a HB Ham so that I don't feel as if I'm serving warm cold cuts?
Thank you and Happy Holidays to all.
I love gewurztraminer with ham--see if you can find Z Moore from California, it is intensely spicy and floral without residual sweetness, so can stand up to a Honey-Baked ham without being cloying. I haven't been able to find it in DC, since we moved from CA. This fall, though, I have been quite happy with Wolf Blass 2000 Gold Label Riesling from Australia. (It is delicate, though, and might be overwhelmed by the chipotle sweet potatoes.) Wine Spectator rates the Wolf Blass Riesling at over 90 points and it is only 11-12 dollars a bottle. Several Trimbach gewirzes are highly rated as well. you might check the Wine Spectator website for specifics. I really like dark beer with ham, too. Why not offer something like Sam Adams Winter Lager as a wine alternative?
I think sides are your best bet to make it not feel like warm cold cuts. May I suggest a sweet potato gratin with a little chipotle chile? Bobby Flay has a recipe, but it's basically thinly sliced sweet potatoes layered with chipotle infused heavy cream, salt and pepper. It's really very good and might cut the sweetness of that ham.
re: Tom Hall
I agree with some of the other wine suggestions. German Riesling is good, you could also go Alsatian Riesling too. Gewurtz is not my favorite, the nose is usually great but reasonably priced ones often can't follow up on the palate. As far as reds, yeah Pinot Noir is your best bet, but stay away from over-extracted, over-oaked, (and overpriced) Oregon examples; you're better off with a good quality Bourgogne Rouge for $15-$20. You could also try a straifghtforward Grenache from France or Spain. Have fun.
Out here in Motown, HBH is well-regarded andvery popular at all the holidays, lines snaking around and around to get in. We have a ham almost every Christmas, sometimes glazed, sometimes not--excellent for a load of folks. We always serve with homemade "cheesey potatoes"-cubed spuds with onion/green & red pepper and and baked with sharp cheddar sauce--make double. Add a green salad and you're good to go--we often have a reasonably priced sparkling wine which I think goes well and offsets the richness. I hope you enjoy your feast! Let me know how it turned out!
From reading the replies you received it sounds like not many people are familiar with the Honey Baked Ham. Actually its available in lots of locations including (believe it or not) out here in the Cleveland area.
Anyway, I would suggest you go with a wine on the sweet side, which would mean the German ones. Of the 3 degrees of sweetness available (Kabinett, Spatelese, Auslese) go for the Kabinett. This has the least amount of residual sugar of the three and lots of people don't like wine that's too sweet. Make sure you get a wine that has the phrase "Qualitatswein Mit Pradikat" on the bottle. I don't want you to get stuck with something like Blue Nun (yech). If you stick with these basic caveats almost any German wine you pick should be good since the rest of the selection is a matter of personal taste. Perhaps your local wine store has someone who could also make a recommendation. The sweet taste of the ham will probably spoil the taste of any red wine you would get. A Pinot might work however.
If you want to dress things up serve it with some scalloped potatoes, that have some nice swiss cheese in them. Or maybe to stick with the sweet theme go for mashed sweet potatoes with some maple syrup. Gourmet magazine had a recipe for that a couple of months ago.
Here's an idea, contact the Honey Baked Ham folks, I'm sure they have loads of ideas of what to serve with their product, so people will buy more.
It was really nice to read Jambalaya's response to T's query -- the rest of the responses seemed so judgemental!
What's up with you people?
Do you really think T wanted to hear your snipes about HBH being "overpriced"? Or being told "why don't you just make it yourself"?!
If you don't have a direct response to her question, maybe you should just move on to someone else's post.
I see some nasty little comments scattered around these boards and I wonder why people don't just keep their LESS THAN humble opinions to themselves.
If you can't post something nice, don't post anything at all.
T, I hope your family enjoys your HBH, and whatever wine you choose to serve...after all, it's the holidays and it's really all about being together, no matter what you end up serving.
Here's a fabulous recipe for honey baked ham. I make this recipe at least 3 times a year and it's always a hit.
Honey Baked Ham
1 smoked ready-to-eat ham (13 to 15 pounds)
2 to 3 bottles gingerale
3 cups dry white wine
5 tablespoons deli-style mustard (or Dijon, your choice), I like Beaver brand
1/3 cup orange blossom honey
1/3 cup real maple syrup
1 1/4 cups chicken stock
3 tablespoons real maple syrup
2 tablespoons deli-style mustard (or Dijon, your choice)
2 teaspoons cornstarch
Remove the rind and score with diagonal cross-cuts. Put ham in a close-fitting kettle, and cover with Gingerale. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. This step removes the too SALTY taste, and adds a delicate flavor. Drain the Gingerale; add ham to a roasting pan, and pour the wine over it. Cover with foil, and bake at 350` for 1 hour.
Combine the glaze ingredients. After the ham has baked 1 hour. Brush the ham with the glaze, using ALL of the mixture. Return ham to the oven (uncovered), and bake an additional 1-1/2 hours, or until internal temp. reaches 140 degrees. Baste occasionally, after the glaze has "set", about 45 minutes. If the glaze gets too dark before the temp gets to 140 degrees, tent the ham with foil.
When the ham is done, transfer it to a serving plate, and loosely cover with foil to keep warm.
Skim the fat from the juices, reserving all the juice and caramelizing bits from the glaze. Heat this to a boil along with 1 cup of the chicken stock (reserving 1/4 cup), syrup and mustard. Dissolve the cornstarch in 1/4 cup of the reserved chicken stock, and whisk it into the sauce to thicken. The sauce should be a rich dark color. Strain and put into a gravy boat. Serve the sauce over the ham.
** NOTE: In step 1, "close-fitting kettle" means the tightest fitting kettle you can fit the ham into, so it takes less gingerale to cover it.
Adapted from Anne Lindsay Greer, Foods of the Sun
Actually I thought about that, but the company I'm having are coming from the city (NYC) and they tasted Ham from The Honey Baked Ham Company while out on the Island once before and believe they can ONLY get it here, on Long Island.
So I conceded, after wondering if they are half crazy with all the good food they have available for purchase in the city . (& it'll leave the oven free for me too)
It's a real ham and pretty good but not what I had in mind for Christmas dinner.
I will do a pasta dish prior to the ham and of course all the other traditional Italian treats and a few surprises.
Here's the Ham Company - http://www.hbhship.com/hbma_Store/hom...
I am only getting a ham from them.